December 28, 2022 – Multiple officials from major South Dakota ethanol producers today argued that unnecessary delays to the regulatory proceedings around Summit Carbon Solutions proposed carbon capture, transportation, and storage project will cause significant harm to both the ethanol and agricultural industries. 

This follows comments from the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission that they are considering a delay in the regulatory proceedings around this project. 

“For years, the ethanol industry has served as the critical customer for corn growers in the state of South Dakota and across the Midwest, helping drive growth in commodity prices and land values in the process,” said Walt Wendland, President and CEO of Ringneck Energy in Onida, South Dakota. “Carbon capture projects like Summit Carbon Solutions are absolutely vital to ensuring ethanol producers remain competitive in the years and decades to come. Simply put, the future of the ethanol industry is uncertain at best without these critical investments in our infrastructure and delays in the regulatory process could come at a significant cost.” 

The ethanol industry in South Dakota supports more than 5,000 jobs, contributes nearly $600 million annual to the state’s gross domestic product, and purchases more than half of all the corn grown in the state. Summit Carbon Solutions will allow its 32 ethanol plant partners to sell their product at a premium in the states and countries that have adopted policies incentivizing the use of low carbon fuels. 

“We strongly encourage the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission to resist unwarranted efforts to delay the regulatory process in the state,” said Ron Alverson, Board Member at Dakota Ethanol in Wentworth, South Dakota. “With 2,300 landowners across the Midwest signing 3,800 easement agreements accounting for 56% of the proposed route, it’s clear that farmers are embracing the Summit Carbon Solutions project because they believe it’s critical for their bottom line. Those landowners deserve to have a formal hearing in April, which would meet South Dakota’s required statutory permit decision deadline of June 15.” 

Other ethanol officials encouraging the South Dakota PUC to hold the Summit Carbon Solutions permitting hearing in April include:

•  Ron Alverson, Board Member and a Founder of Dakota Ethanol in Wentworth, South Dakota

•  Walt Wendland, President and CEO of Ringneck Energy in Onida, South Dakota

•  Eric Baukol, CEO of Redfield Energy in Redfield, South Dakota

•  Scott Mundt, CEO of Dakota Ethanol in Wentworth, South Dakota

•  Jim Seurer, CEO of Glacial Lakes Energy in Watertown, Aberdeen, Mina, and Huron, (all operating in South Dakota)

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