The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) just released a new study suggesting that as much as 75% of all ethanol production in Iowa is in jeopardy if the state does not participate in carbon capture pipelines.
The IRFA argues that any legislation that shuts down carbon capture pipelines in Iowa will effectively do the same for the state’s ethanol industry.
Monte Shaw, executive director of the IRFA, said: “The reality that Iowa ethanol producers face is that reasonable access [to] CCS could be the difference between operating and shuttering their operations. We all recognize the important and emotional issues at play here, but IRFA members are calling on Iowans to unite to support a fair and equitable path forward for CCS. The future of Iowa ethanol production and Iowa corn prices depends on it.”
Currently, there are three proposed carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) pipeline projects that are set to cross Iowa, operated by Navigator CO2, Summit Carbon Solutions and Wolf Carbon Solutions.
All three projects have so far faced tremendous opposition both from landowners and environmental organizations alike.
The main concerns voiced regarding the proposed carbon pipeline projects in Iowa and in other states include the potential use of eminent domain for their completion, as well as safety concerns.
At the moment, there are already several bill introduced in the Iowa legislature that will hamper or even altogether do away with the pipeline operators’ ability to use eminent domain.
However, the study released by the IRFA, which was conducted by economic research firm Decision Innovation Solutions, found that if the state passes this legislation and locks Iowa out of the emerging carbon capture industry, local ethanol plants will have a very difficult time competing with ethanol producers in other states.
And the reason for this is the 45Z clean fuels production tax credits from the Inflation Reduction Act, which is expected to see ethanol producers gain tens of millions of dollars.