It’s safe to say that times are changing around us rather quickly. As the president of the Council Bluffs Chamber, I keep an eye on trends and factors affecting our city, county and state. Most of us know that our local economy relies on the success of agriculture and ethanol, but these critical industries need us now more than ever.

In recent years, ethanol has been adversely impacted by subpar RFS volume requirements, small refinery exemptions, the pandemic and the emergence of electric vehicles. We must be attentive to this, as the industry consumes over 50% of Iowa-grown corn. Without a strong ethanol industry, farmers will lose a considerable portion of their revenue, and the bedrock of our economy will be compromised. As we move forward, we must find ways to keep ethanol competitive and our economy strong.

We have seen corporations, individuals, and cities small and large commit to reducing their carbon emissions. Along with environmental benefits, these commitments typically produce a competitive advantage. Now, a proposed carbon-capture project is in the works that could reduce carbon emissions and allow ethanol producers to access highly profitable markets in places like Canada and Washington.

Summit Carbon Solutions has partnered with ethanol producers to capture carbon emitted from their plants, sequester it safely underground in North Dakota, and make ethanol a net-zero fuel by 2030. This process will increase the competitiveness of ethanol and secure a long-term market for Iowa corn.

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Drew Kamp

President and CEO

Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce