LE MARS, Iowa (KCAU) — Summit Carbon Solutions is in the preliminary stages of a proposal for a pipeline that will stretch across five states including 700 miles in Iowa, in hopes it’ll bring benefits to many ethanol plants along the way, including Plymouth Energy in Merrill and Siouxland Ethanol in Jackson, Nebraska.
The purpose of the pipeline is to pump excess carbon dioxide from ethanol plants into the ground, transporting the gas to a storage chamber in North Dakota. A spokesman from Summit explained how extensive the plan is.
“So the Summit Carbon Solutions project would be the largest carbon capturing storage project in the world. We have the capacity of storing about 12 million tons of CO2 on an annual basis. That’s the equivalent of removing about 2.6 million vehicles off our road every year,” said spokesman Jesse Harris.
However, not everyone was a fan of the proposal which would include one hundred feet of land on each side of the pipe required for construction.
“It does effect our water, I mean you say it’s not dangerous because it doesn’t explode but it is dangerous. It’s labeled as hazardous. The University of Iowa State environmentalists have declared this a scam basically, sorry,” said one affected landowner who was against the plan.
But Summit says the plan will help ethanol plants become zero net carbon by the end of the decade and allow them to sell their product to low-carbon fuel markets like California and Washington for a premium price.
“So this will support the ethanol industry in the years to come but also important to support the corn growers who sell their product to ethanol. Currently ethanol purchases about fifty percent of all corn products in the state of Iowa so this is a major concern and we want to make sure it stays strong,” said Harris.
Per Iowa law, the spokesmen from Summit must hold informational meetings with the Iowa Utilities Board in each county that the pipeline runs through, and take questions from affected landowners. So far, they’ve met in six of the thirty counties including Lyons, Sioux, Plymouth, and Woodbury.