Having farmed in Iowa for nearly 40 years, I have seen firsthand the significant impact of the ethanol industry and its importance to corn production. In addition to supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs, ethanol producers today purchase more than 40 percent of all the corn that is grown in the United States. In Iowa, that figure is actually closer to 53 percent.

As a result, the economic bottom line of farmers in our region is very much tied to the ongoing strength of the ethanol industry and our local ethanol facilities. The question now is how do we maintain the long-term sustainability of ethanol moving forward.

Carbon capture and storage projects like the one being proposed by Summit Carbon Solutions is one of the primary ways we can achieve that goal. This $4.5 billion private investment is a partnership with more than 30 ethanol plants including Siouxland Energy Cooperative where I serve as a board member. Many of those are farmer-owned.

This project will put the ethanol produced at these facilities on track to be a net zero fuel by the end of the decade, which will open up new opportunities to sell their product at a premium in markets that have adopted low carbon fuel standards.

It is critical that we embrace this project and the substantial boost it will provide to ethanol and corn growers here in Iowa and across the country. Doing so will help ensure future generations of farmers are able to be successful and prosperous.

Kelly Nieuwenhuis,