According to the USDA, corn production in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota alone provides a total value of nearly $38 billion. (Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota)

Summit Carbon Solutions will allow its ethanol plant partners to sell their product at a premium in low carbon fuel standard markets, which will bring dollars back to local communities and shareholders in the Midwest. 

Low carbon fuel markets are expanding. California, the largest ethanol consuming state, and Canada, the largest U.S. ethanol export partner, have both adopted low carbon fuel standards that pay more for lower carbon fuels. 

Almost all gasoline-fueled vehicles on the road today can use ethanol blends (E10, E15, or E85). Furthermore, unlike EVs, the infrastructure for ethanol fuels already exists throughout the country.

By purchasing half of the corn grown in U.S., the ethanol industry helps maintain strong commodity prices and strong land values. 

Opponents of carbon capture and storage projects have gone on the record advocating for the elimination of the ethanol industry. 

    • Sierra Club:

“Sierra Club believes that the use of ethanol serves to extend our reliance on fossil fuels, thus contributing to climate change.” (Source: See here)  

“[Carbon capture and storage] will extend the life of the polluting ethanol industry and industrial agriculture practices that have contributed to our climate crisis, water pollution and more.” (Source: See here)

    • Food and Water Watch:

“Summit also asserts that its project will enhance the long-term viability of the ethanol industry, despite the ethanol industry’s tremendous harms to biodiversity due to intensive monocultural (corn only) production” (Source: See here) 

Summit Carbon Solutions remains committed to negotiating voluntary easements with landowners. Currently, approximately 1,300 landowners across the Midwest have signed voluntary easements with Summit Carbon Solutions. These voluntary agreements account for 2,100 total tracts of land and more are being signed every day. 

Summit Carbon Solutions project will be good for our environment. This carbon capture and storage project will have the capacity to prevent the release of 12 million metric tons of CO2 to the atmosphere every year, or the equivalent of removing the annual CO2 emissions of 2.6 million vehicles from our roads. 

the myths

Fact: Summit Carbon Solutions’ carbon capture, transportation, and storage project is fundamentally different from the CO2 line in Mississippi. Our proposed project will compress, transport, and store CO2 from ethanol plants, which is of high purity, nonexplosive, and nonflammable. Beyond CO2, the product stream will be dehydrated removing water and other minor constituents will be those naturally produced in the fermentation process. The CO2 line in Mississippi sourced its product from a naturally occurring reservoir, which had a relatively high concentration of hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which is highly toxic and flammable. The Mississippi in was a tragic and preventable incident. PHSMA’s incident report identifies the root cause and occurrences of noncompliance with regulations resulting in an approximately $4 million fine. Safety is the top priority for Summit Carbon Solutions, and we will utilize longstanding technology that is both proven and reliable. 

Fact: The opposite is actually true. More and more states and countries are considering adopting low carbon fuel standards and that will continue to enhance the economic opportunities for ethanol plants that partner with projects like the one Summit Carbon Solutions is proposing. Through this project, the company’s ethanol plant partners will significantly reduce the carbon intensity score of the ethanol they produce and allow them to sell their product at a premium in these growing markets, which today include California, Oregon, Washington, parts of Canada and more. Governments and consumers are increasingly looking for low carbon fuels and Summit Carbon Solutions is well-positioned to help meet that demand. 

Fact: Easements do not transfer ownership of a landowner’s property. After Summit Carbon Solutions has fairly compensated a landowner, the landowner continues to own the land and grant the company temporary access to construct, operate, and maintain the project as defined by the terms and conditions in the mutually agreed upon easement. The land can continue to be used for the same purpose as before, whether that’s growing corn, soybeans, or anything else. There are a few reasonable restrictions like you can’t build a permanent structure on the right-of-way or plant new trees. 

Fact: Our commitment is to partner with landowners to ensure their land is in as good condition or better than when construction began. Summit Carbon Solutions, and Ellingson as our primary drain tile vendor, will be responsible for any and all drain tile repairs resulting from the construction throughout the entire life of the project. That means the company will pay the entirety of these repairs after construction and at any point while the system is operating. The key point is that the costs associated with this work will not ever be the responsibility of the landowner. Ellingson has longstanding experience in this area and has successfully worked across the Midwest on farms where the tiling system ranges from fairly straightforward to incredibly complex. However, each individual landowner is welcome to choose their own drain tile vendor. 

Fact: In the unlikely scenario Summit sells or transfers an easement, the legal terms mutually agreed upon with the landowner stay in place and govern the permittable use of the right-of-way. Therefore, only a CO2 line with the exact specifications of Summit’s (e.g., one pipe, CO2 product, indemnification) can utilize the easement. This also allows Summit to transfer the easement back to the landowner at the conclusion of the project.

Fact: No, Summit Carbon Solutions is going to permanently store the CO2 safely underground and will not utilize this project for enhanced oil recovery. The company is investing $100 million in its permanent storage locations in North Dakota.

Fact: Summit Carbon Solutions’ carbon capture and storage project will have the capacity to capture and permanently store up to 12 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. That will lead to significant economic and environmental benefits, while also opening new economic opportunities for ethanol producers and farmers across the Midwest. However, crops, trees, and other plants will still have plenty of CO2 to grow and thrive as they do today. 

Fact: Summit Carbon Solutions will pay commercially reasonable costs and indemnify and hold the landowner harmless for any loss, damage, claim, or action resulting from Company's use of the easement, except to the extent such loss, damage claim, or action results from the gross negligence or willful misconduct of the landowner or its agents.

Fact: Summit Carbon Solutions is a multi-billion-dollar private investment with support from a wide-range of investors including John Deere, Continental Resources, and our ethanol plant partners. The company will not use any government funding to construct the project and will pay tens of millions of dollars in local property taxes along the entire route. 

Fact: According to the federal government, nearly 90% of light-duty vehicle sales in the fourth quarter of 2021 were for vehicles with internal combustion engines. In other words, the overwhelming number of consumers today continue to choose traditional vehicles as opposed to electric, hybrid, or plug in hybrid options. Also, almost all gasoline-fueled vehicles on the road today can use ethanol blends (E10, E15, or E85). Furthermore, unlike EVs, the infrastructure for ethanol fuels already exists throughout the country.

With the fleet of existing internal combustion engines on the road, consumers continuing to choose internal combustion engines today and the coming years, it is important that we embrace ways to provide these tens of millions of Americans with access to cleaner fuel options. Summit Carbon Solutions’ carbon capture, transportation, and storage project will put the ethanol produced at its partner facilities on track to be a net zero fuel source by the end of the decade. That shift will provide these ethanol producers access to the growing low carbon fuel markets here in the U.S. and internationally, while meeting that critical need for delivering more low carbon fuel to consumers. 

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