Letter: The future of biofuels is filled with obstacles
Writer asks for support of Summit Carbon Solutions.
Ethanol has been a cornerstone of the Minnesota economy for decades. However, with small-refinery waivers, electric vehicles, and the pandemic hampering the industry, the future of Minnesota biofuels is full of obstacles. Considering ethanol contributes roughly $5 billion to Minnesota’s GDP and supports 12,686 jobs statewide, its viability must remain a top priority.
Fortunately, despite the challenges facing ethanol, there is light on the horizon as producers seek new markets. Consumer trends are evolving across the country, and several states are now willing to pay a premium for low-carbon fuel.
Through carbon capture and sequestration, ethanol plants can lower their emissions and become competitive for decades to come. Six Minnesota plants have already partnered with a project to capture carbon dioxide from the fermentation process, transport the material to North Dakota, and safely store it underground.
The project developer, Summit Carbon Solutions, understands agriculture and is based in the Midwest. It plans to employ up to 17,000 workers during construction, create hundreds of permanent jobs, and pay property taxes along the project’s entire route. So far, more than 30 plants across five states have signed agreements with Summit Carbon Solutions.
Minnesota stands to benefit tremendously. With more E85 stations than any state in the U.S. and nearly half of our corn crop going to ethanol, our state’s success is closely tied to the ethanol industry. As ethanol thrives, so does Minnesota.
I encourage all Minnesotans to support Summit Carbon Solutions as it works to create a brighter future for ethanol, agriculture, and Minnesota.