Elected officials shouldn’t forget that South Dakotans view ethanol as critical to development & ag

I was clicking around on the Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline website (in advertiser’s row, at the top of the page on the right),  and was reminded of a survey from last year where a massive majority of South Dakotans surveyed expressed that they view ethanol as critical to economic growth, agriculture, and the environment.

AMES, Iowa (April 28, 2022) – A broad, bipartisan majority of South Dakotans support the ethanol industry and believe it is critical to the future of agriculture, the health of the state’s economy, and improving environmental outcomes, according to a new survey of registered voters in 18 counties where Summit Carbon Solutions is proposed to operate in South Dakota.

Key findings of the survey along with a partisan breakdown of the results are as follows:

  • 94% of those surveyed believe the ethanol industry is important for South Dakota farmers and the state’s agricultural industry.
    • Republican: 97%
    • No Party: 90%
    • Democrat: 94%
  • 88% of respondents believe the ethanol industry is important for the state’s economy.
    • Republican: 90%
    • No Party: 86%
    • Democrat: 89%
  • 74% of those surveyed believe ethanol is good for the environment.
    • Republican: 79%
    • No Party: 59%
    • Democrat: 82%
  • 88% of respondents believe the ethanol industry has a positive impact on the state of South Dakota.
    • Republican: 92%
    • No Party: 83%
    • Democrat: 86%

“This survey confirms that South Dakotans believe ethanol is not only an essential part of the state’s economic landscape today but a critical industry for our future as well,” Jake Ketzner, Summit Carbon Solutions’ Vice President of Government and Public affairs, said. “Summit Carbon Solutions was formed because we share this belief. If approved, our carbon capture and storage project will open new economic opportunities for ethanol producers across the state and strengthen the marketplace for corn growers.”

Summit Carbon Solutions is a partnership with 32 ethanol plants across the Midwest, including seven in the state of South Dakota. The project will help these partners realize a 30-point drop in the carbon intensity score of the ethanol their facilities produce and allow them to access the growing number of markets that pay a premium to purchase low carbon fuels.

Read the entire press release here.

It came to mind as the Public Utilities Commission seems to be letting opponents drag the permitting process out, and pushing hearings back until to September.

As noted in the article in The Dakota Scout..

The construction of the South Dakota portion of the pipeline runs from the state’s northern border across 18 counties. Ethanol plants located in eastern South Dakota along the pipeline route stand to profit from the pipeline due to the Inflation Reduction Act, which Congress passed last year and includes incentives for energy companies to reduce their carbon footprints to 0 percent, said Walt Wendland, president and CEO of Ringneck Energy in Onida.

“The Inflation Reduction Act really goes into play Jan. 1 of 2025 and we can’t afford to miss that opportunity,” Wendland said following Thursday’s decision.

“So any delay is going to cost the farmers corn price and millions of dollars to ethanol plants,” he added. “It’s going to impact tax revenues for the counties. There’s just a whole string of things. One of the things that the commission promised is they’d have a decision made by a certain date.”

Read that here.

What was on track to be a responsive regulatory process has now been allowed to be bogged down by labor unions and activists, costing farmers and ethanol producers revenue.

Despite the importance of ethanol production to South Dakota’s economy, our energy independence, and a majority of South Dakota’s population.

19 thoughts on “Elected officials shouldn’t forget that South Dakotans view ethanol as critical to development & ag”

  1. It’s not conservative to support the condemnation of South Dakota land for a green new deal scheme hatched by Pelosi and the Democrats.

  2. I think we need to get out of the ethanol business as gracefully as possible.

    People around here (Westest of West River) pay a premium to keep it out of their gasoline. I mean .. they REALLY love the ethanol free option.

    We should have built an enterprise software design/development/operations economy to keep India and others out of US domestic recon.

    I’m working on this and welcome you to join me. South Dakota should become the information systems capital of the world. I mean, if you think about it, we have a lot of snow here. Servers need to be cooled. Why not include some South Dakota cooling snow with every server shipped? 😀

    But seriously, folks, expertise in Enterprise software is a great business and we should dominate it .. it would help us figure out, improve, and mitigate our agriculture shortcomings.



  3. Surprised Repubs would want to spend money on govt subsidies for ethanol. Of course they are all about boosting income for farmers with the farm bills.

  4. Is it wise to advocate against ethanol’s use in South Dakota? …i think not! Irregardless of the perceived merits or morality or political stance you have about how or why we began growing a fuel (ethanol) in our own state that replaces a portion of the fuel (petroleum) we have to purchase from elsewhere, the opponents of ethanol use would help create a HUGE budget AND income problem if or when that market is removed from our farmer’s options. according to SDCUC in 2018 we produced 778 million bushels of corn and over half 396 million went into ethanol and its byproducts. (https://www.sdcorn.org/news/ethanol-plants-use-over-half-of-sd-corn) . At ONLY $5 corn, much lower than current market…. thats right at $ 2,000,000,000! Losing that much of the corn farmers would be devastating to the ENTIRE state’s economy. You cannot quickly replace that with something else without additional infrastructure or at least transportation…both of which also costing $$$$ more to develop. I have been burning various blends of ethanol in all my gasoline engine vehicles (yes even in my Harleys) for 40 years, if burning ethanol systemically caused problems I would know. . The only problem i have is access, , since you cant get it everywhere and it sometimes isnt priced competitively. Maybe burying carbon dioxide in the ground is also a fools undertaking, but those who think we will have, or worse, believe we NEED, a carbon free future, at least in the upper great plains, are more foolhardy.

    1. Ethanol is important to South Dakota’s economy and the lives of our family farmers. My concern is not the issue of Ethanol. My concern is the ethanol industry markets to the wrong people. They have and currently market to…farmers. Youth drivers in SD and outside of the state don’t know what Ethanol is or they’ve been told not to use it. The ethanol industry should reevaluate their millions of dollars of marketing efforts and put them solely into youth activities, exposing, incentivizing, and educating the 14-18 year old crowd. They could care less about ethanol but it is them that will continue to support the industry or eventually cause its demise.

    2. “Irregardless” is not a word, and your argument appears to be just as fictitious. Riddle me this: Should the government power of eminent domain be utilized for something that is neither a public utility, public enterprise, nor a public good? If John Dutton was actually a real-life person and presented with the same terrible threats that landowners are getting from the real-life jerks at Summit, how do you think he would respond? Behind Summit is a group of foreign investors that are looking to 1) push around South Dakota landowners, and 2) grab billions in tax incentives from the feds. No, I am not a union member, a liberal wacko, or any other such nonsense. I am a 5th generation South Dakota landowner that is looking down the barrel of a Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline that doesn’t want his government playing favorites.

  5. Well said Larry Nielson. Ethanol usage is beneficial; hopping aboard the pipeline idea is not.

  6. I agree with Mr. Nielson and others that ethanol production has been a good industry for South Dakota’s economy and a strong market for corn. I’m not so sure about utilizing marginal acres for corn production and I’m skeptical about condemning private property for pipeline expansion when our state should adopt a willing buyer, willing seller, free enterprise solution. We should get government out of that market.

  7. Ethanol is not a very good fuel, and this coming from someone who knows the effects the corn, sugar contents has on fuel pumps, fuel lines, and engines themselves.

    My dad, Gary Zitterich was sponsored by the South Dakota Ethanol Industry when he raced sprint cars from 1991 to 1993. I will be first hand evidence, of the effects Ethanol has on your engines, and it is not great.

    At the time, they would increase their sponsorship dollars if we ran more ethanol. So from 1991 and 1992, we experimented, a lot. What we found –

    The Corn Starch/sugar contents aggressively ruined the fuel lines;

    The Corn Starch/surgar contents damaged the seals, and inner workings of the fuel pump;

    And lastly, the corn starch, sugar contents often damanged the seal components in your head gaskets..

    But, as we played with the mixture, using anywhere from 10% 15%, 30%, to as much as 60% at one point, what we found, was ‘we’ had to constantly adjust our air, fuel settings in the injectors, the ethanol buildup in the nozzles constantly plugged the fuel lines, yet alone the nozzles themselves. and any time we ran more than 30% ethanol, it would lean your engines so far down, you could NOT get heat in the engines, which if you understand Engines, well…no heat, means, no power, no power, means, you begin to suffer engine issues, such as Blown Head Gaskets…

    What we found, the best ratio to run Ethanol if this is your thing, is no more than 5% mixture, meaning 5% Ethanol, and 95% regular Gasoline…

    In regular vehicles, as a auto repair facility – we often saw the same issues as we had in the race engines – Ethanol often times damaged the fuel pumps, the rubber seals, gaskets, and fuel lines…We often told our customers if you must support South Dakota, and use Ethanol – at least every other tank, flush your tank out by using straight 91 Octane Fuel, the hottest mixture of gasoline, this would burn hotter, but it forced the ethanol out of the fuel tank..You see, Ethanol is heavier than gasoline, it drops straight to the bottom of the thank, which if you understand the mechanics of your vehicle, well, this also allowed the sugar, starch, chemicals used in ethanol to plug all your holes, fuel lines, let alone, we saw tons of other issues like Head Gaskets to damaged or plugged Converters.

    The South Dakota Corn Growers will never tell the public the negative aspects, cause they are bringing in millions, if not Billions of dollars a year in federal subsidies, state subsidies, investment revenues. But ETHANOL is NOT good for your engine, not good at all

    We experienced with Ethanol in our Race Cars, we saw the effects of Ethanol in passenger cars, I will attest, DO NOT use more than 5% Ethanol in your car, and if you do, FLUSH it out every other tank by using 91 Octane to get that crap out of the tank.

    However, South Dakota Government, led by the “Republican and Democrat” Legislators are taking millions of dollars from the Federal Govt, yet alone ‘we’ take 5% of our Video Lottery profits and give it the ETHANOL INDUSTRY aka POET…

    Gas Stations advertise 15% Ethanol mixture, but in reality, depending on when you fill up, knowing that Ethanol gravitates to the bottom of the holding tanks, you may end up with nearly 99% Straight Ethanol, when this happens, remember, what we found out in our race cars — YOU begin to have serious mechanical problems with your fuel pumps, rubber seals, gaskets, head gaskets, etc…Straight Ethanol – burns cooler, and if your engine cannot get any heat in the engine, you are very much screwed.

    Personally, knowing all this, I WILL NOT use ethanol, you could NOT pay me $1 million dollars, I will NOT use Ethanol in any of my cars, and I will never stop but tell people Never use Ethanol. I tell people if you feel the need to support the Corn Growers, the farmers, invest in their farms buy helping them by farm equipment asking in return a Royalty Payment.


    1. Forgot to mention we always built our own engines, so we would often see the effects of ethanol in our engines, from 1992 to 1993, we suffered engine fatigue often blowing head gaskets, and we discovered, knowing the how the engine works, the front four cylinders would be fine, but between cylinders 4 and 8 on the left side, and cylinders 3 and 5 on the right side, we often find the head gaskets being damaged, this was the fault of to much ethanol usage…After 1993, we never used ethanol again…

      1. 30 year old data. Wonder what development is producing now regarding these old issues you identified? I use ethanol and periodically do a price point check on MPG vs non-ethanol. I prefer ethanol in winter.

        1. You will never see the day, when you can use Straight Ethanol, it cannot be. Vehicles, and Engines do NOT run on ethanol alone, you need to mix it with high mixtures of high octane, let alone a fuel that burns hot. Which probally is the reason why you get better mileage in winter time, cause they are mixing it with higher octane fuel. The Ethanol producers will never honestly tell the truth, nor the facts. Because of the fact, Ethanol does NOT burn hot, and most engines need heat to run smooth, you have to mix it with a high concentrate of octane. The State of Minnesota was way ahead of South Dakota in this area, ‘we’ in racing, often experimented with ethanol, it sponsored many of our races, let alone teams, so we were encouraged to experiment.Minnesota Ethanol was mixed with higher than normal octane with additional ingredients to produce more heat to the engine, this is what makes your vehicle run better. NOT Ethanol alone. Ethanol alone is not effective, and we will never achieve 100% Ethanol type fuel. Ever.

          In order to become fully efficient on Ethanol, you would have to produce such a high concentration of corn, let alone add many additives, and other ingredients to effectively make it work, that it would PRICE GOUGE the product out of existence.

          Even if you achieved that, you still have the problem with the concentrating of all the corn starch, salt, and sugar collecting at the bottom of your tank, plugging up fuel lines, damaging fuel pumps, let alone head gaskets.

          Do you know how many Gas Stations had to reimburse “vehicle owners” for effectively ruining their engines? Tons.

          I will never use Ethanol, not by choice that is… I do NOT beleive it it.

          Not only that, but its all part of a plan to remove CORN from the Food based industry, increase CORN for FUEL, means less corn for our Food Supply.

          1. Mike Lee Zitterich…I disagree with your talking points. I was purchasing e98 for several years in bulk and running it in both carbureted and fuel injected engines, yes year around. Granted, it does not vaporize as well as the benzene added to gasoline in cold weather (that is why the pump says its e-70 in the winter, e85 in the summer), but if you know how to jet your carburetor or set your fuel injectors (about 25% more worked for me) yes it does run and run very well. The extreme high performance factory mustangs, camaros, and challengers run e85. If you weren’t getting enough heat you advance the timing….because ethanol IS a high octane fuel –113 according to the internet. its all and only about tuning. Now there IS a synergestic effect if you blend in gasoline, so your comment suggesting adding gasoline does have merit. The problems you keep referring back to did exist then, but IF YOU WANT TO there are solutions now.

            1. You are correct in all you are saying related to the engine, carb or injection systems. And yes, smart mechanics can play with the air-fuel mixture. We had to adjust a lot when we experimented, but at the same time, the ethanol, at least in a Sprint Car type set up, where they are used to burning Methanol, an entire different fuel alone, was much more perfected for racing engines, dependent on heat, and performance

              In our Sprint Car set up – we found the bigger percentage we mixed ethanol with methanol, the greater the risk of issues we had…we ended up fixing and resolving the heating issues, however, we also found, that the ethanol damanged the fuel pump, itsef, and we often found a build up of the white, milky, salt-sugar content in the pump.

              My did do a ton of experimenting for the S.D Corn Growers, working with Dan Issinminger at the time.

              They would compensate us more where we experiented more, but what we found, was in a performance engine, you cannot run more than 10-15%, when you get well over 30-40%, is where we had greater mechanical issues, regardless of how you adjust the Air-Fuel Mixture.

              We ended up using additives to compensate for the heating issue, where we could no longer adjust the air-fuel mixture, because, you were either toging ot be to hot, or to lean, and you do not want to be to lean..thats when engines go south.

              You can add all the additives you want to increase the performance of Ethanol itself, but, you just increase the price per gallon on the consumer, which is why you do not see a huge cost savings to the conssumer.

              The only thing that is making it cheaper, is government is Subsidizing the Ethanol Industry, let alone the Gas Stations to mix in more ethanol, thus manufacturing lower prices to protect the Ethanol Industry.

              I am still NOT sold on Ethanol, my preference would be regular Unleaded whether 87 or 91 octane.

              I respect your comments, you were respectful torwards mine, perhaps one day, we can find a common agreement on ethanol, but knowing the effects they have on the components to the engine and other working parts….

              Perhaps some manufactures have figured out how to build working mechanical parts to cope with the Ethanol itself, so perhaps you are right..

              However, why then does the Government have to SUBSIDIZE the Ethanol Industry, let alone the Gas Stations, let alone the Farmers if Ethanol is the preferred choice to use for fuel?

              Ethanol cannot survive alone, it has to be mixed with Oil and Gas, so what does the Government know?

              IF it was not for the Subsidies given to the industry, the farmers, the Gas Stops, I for see price per gallon of gas much closer to $6-8 dollars per gallon if not more.

              IN racing, “WE” are paying nearly $10-15 dollars per gallon for Methanal, and Ethanol by itself, would nearly double that if not for the Subsidies…

              Methanol has been perfected for Racing, Performance Engines, but to get there, we are paying nearly $20/gallong – 5 Gallon Jug = $75-95 dollars. I envision Ethanol costs just as much per gallon IF not for the Tax Subsidies.

              Something does NOT add up, Government should NOT have to subsidize a product in order to keep the price low.

              But South Dakota has latched onto the so called Green Energy Campaign of receiving tons of Federal Taxes from the FEDS in order to produce tons of gallons of Ethanol.
              Then we got to subsidize it more to get the gas stations, the end users to use it.

              You and I may agree on the mechanics of the use of Ethanol, in means of the engines themselves, but we may be disagreeing further by the political scheme to encourage people to use Ethanol.

              Thank You for Your Response, I am interested in your continued thoughts…

              1. Ethanol and Methanol are the same types of fuel. They are massively expensive to produce, and to use.

                Methanol is a wood based fuel; whereas Ethanol i is a corn based fuel. Both are expensive.

  8. I don’t trust a poll with results that high, either the audience was skewed or the poll was a push poll. I don’t know any issues that have 90%+ agreement on. Look at the comments so far on this article, that should be proof enough. Sorry, Summit Solutions, keep trying, this didn’t convince anyone.

  9. “Activists” aka land owners that don’t want the government taking away their land and giving it to a for profit company?

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