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Letter: Summit Carbon Solutions responds to letter writer; explains responsibility for drain tile repairs

Summit Carbon Solutions proposes pipeline to transport carbon from Jackson County ethanol plant.

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Letter to the Editor
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Letter to the Editor:

In Minnesota, the ethanol industry contributes $2.1 billion to our state’s GDP every year, supports 22,000 jobs, and purchases half of the corn grown in the state. If ethanol were to be eliminated, the consequences would be devastating to our economy.

That is the reason why Summit Carbon Solutions proposed a new project that partners with dozens of ethanol plants including six in Minnesota. This investment will allow the ethanol produced at these facilities to be sold at a premium in the growing number of states and countries that have adopted low carbon fuel standards.

Ernst & Young indicated the project is a $550 million investment in Minnesota, which will flow to local businesses to spur economic growth. Additionally, this investment will generate an average of $1.28 million in new property taxes every year in the counties where the project will operate, helping support schools and more.

Recently, there was a letter in this outlet from a resident in Jackson County asking about the benefits of this project. One of Summit Carbon Solutions’ partners is Heron Lake BioEnergy in Jackson County, which stands to benefit by the ability to access low carbon fuel standard markets. Farmers in the area who sell their corn to this plant will benefit from a stronger marketplace for their crop and stronger overall land prices.

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To date, 1,300 landowners have signed voluntary easements, accounting for 2,100 tracts of land. This process is a negotiation. If a landowner has third party data on local land prices they want to utilize, we are certainly happy to take that information into account to reach an agreement that is mutually beneficial.

As part of these negotiations, the company is proposing to pay landowners for crop losses. In total, we are paying 240% coverage of crop losses up front and compensation is based on independent market prices for each community.

Regarding drain tile, Summit Carbon Solutions’ is partnering with Ellingson. This Minnesota-based company has worked extensively with landowners to repair and replace drain tile that was impacted during the development of a pipeline or renewable energy project. Working closely with Ellingson, we will be responsible for all drain tile repairs resulting from the construction throughout the entire life of the project. That means Summit — not the landowner — will pay the entirety of these repairs.

Anyone who has questions about this project are welcome to contact Scott O’Konek at (515) 384-0964.

Scott O’Konek, Project Manager
Summit Carbon Solutions Minnesota

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