Globe Gazette, Mason City, IA – Dec. 14, 2023

By: Chad Kuhlers


As the CEO of Golden Grain Energy in Mason City, Iowa, I have had the privilege of witnessing the remarkable growth and potential of the ethanol industry in our great state. Iowa’s corn farmers have long been the backbone of this industry, and the innovative spirit of our community has driven continuous advancements in ethanol production. Today, I want to stress the significance of Summit Carbon Solutions’ carbon capture and sequestration pipeline project, a project that will strengthen ethanol for decades to come.


Iowa is at the heart of the ethanol industry, and the corn market is closely linked. This vital industry faces an uphill battle with the shift in market demand for low-carbon fuels. In such times, it is imperative that we explore new avenues to bolster our agricultural and ethanol sectors, and Summit Carbon Solutions presents an exciting opportunity to do just that.


One of the key advantages of the Summit Carbon Solutions project is its potential to provide a lifeline to corn farmers. The carbon capture and sequestration pipeline will enable farmers to continue producing and selling corn for ethanol production, which currently purchases more than 50% of all corn grown in Iowa. The incentive of sustainable agricultural practices will likely lead to the development of new businesses.


From an economic standpoint, the Summit project holds immense promise for the ethanol industry. The ethanol market has faced its fair share of challenges, including fluctuating oil prices, policy uncertainties, and competition from electric vehicles. Carbon capture and sequestration, however, provide a unique opportunity for the ethanol industry to stand out as a cleaner and more sustainable fuel option. This, in turn, can lead to increased demand for ethanol, benefiting producers like Golden Grain Energy and supporting rural economies across the Midwest.


Furthermore, the long-term use of ethanol as a fuel source holds tremendous potential. Ethanol can be blended with gasoline, reducing its carbon content, and helping to reduce the overall emissions of the transportation sector. Additionally, ethanol can serve as a vital component in developing advanced biofuels, which can potentially revolutionize how we power our vehicles and even aviation. This, in turn, fosters technological innovation, encouraging more industries to explore and adopt more sustainable and efficient practices. This project makes Iowa an attractive location for these industries, again contributing to the economic health of the state.


Summit Carbon Solutions’ carbon capture and sequestration pipeline project represents a significant step forward for the corn and ethanol industries. It offers economic stability for farmers, enhances the sustainability of ethanol production, and positions ethanol as a key player in the transition to a more viable future through carbon capture.


As stakeholders in these industries, we are responsible for embracing innovative solutions brought forward by Summit and other innovators to properly ensure that our businesses and communities thrive for generations to come. Let us seize this opportunity to build a brighter future for Iowa’s corn and ethanol industries.