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Arizona Plans for a Future with Algae Farming

Arizona recently decided to give their local algae industry a boost with two new laws that should make it easier to bring jobs, research and sustainable biofuel production to the Grand Canyon state.

This month Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law two algae-friendly bills:

  • HB 2226 would widen the tax definitions of agricultural real property by including lands dedicated to alga-culture. This will give algae farms the same lower property tax rates provided to other farming businesses.
  •  HB 2225 would redefine agricultural land use to include algaculture for the sole purpose of research, development, and production of commercial biofuels on state trust land—land that is intended to benefit public schools and institutions. The Arizona State Land Department will now be able to issue agricultural leases for algae operations.

It may be based on innovative and new technology, but algae farming is agriculture, and Arizona’s approach acknowledges that the potential for commercial algae production can’t be taken for granted.

States don’t need a lot of sun be support algae. There are projects to grow algae or support the industry in all 50 states, and it will be interesting to see what other state-level approaches we see in the future.

More information about these two bills can be read via Arizona State University.

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