An op-ed from the Ames Chamber of Commerce and Ames Economic Development Commission
Agriculture and ethanol are vital to Iowa’s economy, which is a point of pride for our Ames metropolitan statistical area (MSA). As a core industry in our region, including Lincolnway Energy in Nevada, it is important that we invest for future generations, and there is an opportunity to do that now through the Summit Carbon Solutions project.
Both the Ames Chamber of Commerce and Ames Economic Development Commission Board of Directors are in support of the Summit Carbon Solutions investment in our region. The project will be a driving force in economic development and job creation for Story County and Central Iowa.
Summit Carbon Solutions is headquartered in Ames and has plans to partner with over 32 ethanol plants across the Midwest to lower carbon emissions and help ethanol plants tap into premium markets. This investment will provide meaningful employment opportunities not only in our region, but across the state.
Given that over half of Iowa's corn crop goes directly to local ethanol plants, this type of project must be a priority. Carbon capture and sequestration projects like this one will ensure our farmers continue to thrive by safeguarding ethanol's sustainability.
The process is simple. Summit will install infrastructure at partner ethanol plants free of charge. The infrastructure will capture the carbon created during the fermentation process and compress it into a near liquid form, flowing through a pipeline until it is injected into North Dakota's deep geological formations. The captured carbon will remain stored in the ground permanently.
This carbon capture and storage process is an effective way to decarbonize the ethanol industry, thus allowing it to compete with other forms of energy, such as electric vehicles. It will provide increased value for the entire ethanol industry and foster an environment that continues to support high corn and land value prices. Decarbonizing ethanol will also allow the industry to remain viable for decades and maintain the market for half of Iowa’s corn crop.
The economic value that this project brings to our area extends beyond ethanol. Implementing a project of this size will provide new jobs to our region throughout the construction process, but also long term to operate the pipeline. The positive economic impact will be felt by our hotels, restaurants, and numerous other businesses. Summit is also estimated to pay $1.5 million in new property taxes to the Story County that will filter down to support improvements in local schools and infrastructure.
The Ames Chamber of Commerce and Ames Economic Development Commission supports the Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline project. Ethanol is a lifeline for many and strengthens Iowa's agricultural economy. We support innovation that will assure economic prosperity and promote homegrown energy.
Ames Chamber of Commerce
Ames Economic Development Commission
Dan Culhane, CEcD, CCE
President & CEO
Ames Chamber of Commerce
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