The Iowa Climate Change Advisory Council approved its final report Wednesday, after some discussion about whether the document contained recommendations or simply options for the state to pursue.
The 23-member Council began work a year ago to hammer out ideas for how Iowa might reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
But as the group neared completion of its task, a majority of members hesitated to call the report a list of recommendations for state government. Council member David Miller, an economist with the Iowa Farm Bureau prefers to consider the report a bunch of options.
"To me a recommendation probably indicates some level of prioritization and that’s clearly something we haven’t done," Miller says.
Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie disagrees. Cownie says: "We started out with 500 options and we’ve narrowed it down to this. I think we’ve spent a lot of time prioritizing which ones we thought we were able to do." Only one member of the group voted against approving the final document.
Roxanne Carisch a representative from the Rural Electric Cooperatives says she worries about the hidden costs if some of the ideas are implemented. "I guess I’m just very concerned about the cost to consumers. At this point, I don’t think the cost to consumers has been addressed nor has the concern for the cost to consumers been noted in this report," Carisch says.
The council voted to present the report to the Governor and Legislature as simply some possibilities the state should consider as it aims for a 50-percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050. The suggestions include supporting passenger rail service and continuing to develop renewable energy sources.