An ethanol plant in Lena, Illinois will be the first to use CapCO2’s system to convert carbon dioxide into green methanol. (Photo courtesy of CapCO2)

Green methanol: A carbon dioxide pipeline alternative?

BY: - February 19, 2024

A company that wants to help ethanol producers harness their carbon dioxide emissions to produce an additional renewable fuel says its technology is a viable alternative to proposed carbon dioxide pipelines. CapCO2 Solutions is nearing completion of its first “green methanol” project at an ethanol plant in Illinois. The company hopes that a successful launch […]

An audience listens to a hearing on proposed pipeline legislation at the Capitol in Pierre on Feb. 15, 2024. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Senate panel moves to limit local authority in pipeline regulation

BY: - February 15, 2024

A bill limiting the right of counties to regulate pipeline setbacks advanced out of a state Senate committee on Thursday morning. Senate Bill 201 would bar counties from enacting local zoning rules strict enough to regulate gas or liquid pipelines out of existence, but would also allow counties to levy a per-foot surcharge on pipeline […]

Rep. Carl Perry, R-Aberdeen, hears testimony during a House Commerce and Energy Committee hearing on Feb. 12, 2024. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Another attempt to block carbon pipelines from using eminent domain fails

BY: - February 12, 2024

PIERRE — Another legislative attempt to stop a proposed carbon sequestration pipeline from using eminent domain failed Monday.  “It is up to us to defend South Dakotans’ property rights,” said Rep. Jon Hansen, R-Dell Rapids, the prime sponsor of the bill.  The legislation was rejected by the House Commerce and Energy Committee in a 7-6 […]

House Majority Leader Will Mortenson, R-For Pierre, speaks on the state House floor on Jan. 16, 2024. (Makenzie Huber/South Dakota Searchlight)

Landowner protection bills advance as carbon pipeline controversy continues

BY: - February 5, 2024

PIERRE — A committee of state lawmakers endorsed three bills Monday that would protect some landowner rights but would not prevent a proposed carbon dioxide pipeline. The committee considered five bills that would impact the pipeline project. Three passed the House Commerce and Energy Committee and two failed.  The three bills now headed to the […]

An ethanol plant near Aberdeen. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Poet’s ethanol plants shift to remaining carbon dioxide pipeline proposal

BY: - January 29, 2024

An ethanol production company headquartered in Sioux Falls announced Monday it will partner with the remaining company looking to build a carbon capture pipeline in South Dakota. Poet will collaborate with Summit Carbon Solutions to implement carbon capture technology at 17 Poet ethanol plants, including five in South Dakota and 12 in Iowa. The South […]

State Sen. Casey Crabtree, R-Madison, speaks on the Senate floor on Jan. 22, 2024. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Fuel tax refund to incentivize higher ethanol blends passes state Senate

BY: - January 22, 2024

PIERRE — A bill to incentivize the sale of more ethanol passed through the state Senate on Monday with 33 yes votes and no opposition.  The legislation outlines a new tax refund that would be in effect from 2025 to 2030. It would allow gas stations to claim a fuel tax refund of up to […]

Carbon dioxide pipeline critic and farmer, Mark Lapka, of Leola, speaks during a rally at the South Dakota Capitol in Pierre on Jan. 8, 2024. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Hundreds of CO2 pipeline critics converge on Capitol ahead of legislative session

BY: - January 8, 2024

PIERRE — About 200 landowners braved the winter weather Monday to descend on the state Capitol and demand greater property rights protection and local control in the face of a proposed carbon dioxide pipeline. The rally occurred one day before Governor Kristi Noem is scheduled to kick off the 2024 legislative session with her State […]

An ethanol plant near Aberdeen. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

CO2 pipeline debate has resulted in divisions among ethanol proponents

BY: - December 21, 2023

A carbon pipeline project aimed at reducing heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions from the Midwest ethanol industry is irritating some within that very industry. Summit Carbon Solutions aims to transport carbon dioxide from ethanol plants to an underground storage site in North Dakota. Its CEO, Lee Blank, recently emphasized the importance of the pipeline for the […]

The Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline route in South Dakota. (Courtesy of South Dakota Public Utilities Commission)

Carbon pipeline debate spawns another new organization

BY: - November 30, 2023

A second group has formed in response to disputes over a proposed carbon dioxide pipeline in South Dakota, this time in support of policies that could result in the pipeline’s construction.  A news release from the newly formed South Dakota Ag Alliance said it will “mediate and advocate for reasonable solutions to difficult ag and […]

Dave Fendrich (walking) helps Bryant Hofer (in combine) harvest a field of corn on Oct. 2, 2013, near Salem. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Q&A: Carbon pipeline execs say ethanol’s future hangs in the balance

BY: - November 29, 2023

MARION — If South Dakota’s ethanol industry does not reduce the amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide it emits into the atmosphere, the industry’s future is grim. That’s according to two top executives of the remaining carbon-capture pipeline company hoping to capture, liquefy and bury carbon dioxide from South Dakota ethanol plants. They said markets around […]

Lincoln County residents and members of the county's newly formed Carbon Dioxide Transport and Storage Advisory Committee attend a meeting Nov. 28, 2023, in Canton. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Lincoln could become sixth county to regulate location of carbon pipelines

BY: - November 28, 2023

CANTON — Lincoln County could become the sixth county in the state to enact regulations on the location of carbon dioxide pipelines.  Brown, McPherson, Minnehaha, Moody and Spink counties already have “setback” ordinances that mandate minimum distances between pipelines and residential areas, livestock facilities, nursing homes and other existing features. The Lincoln County Commission rejected […]

An oil pumpjack casts a shadow on a wall as it pulls oil from the Permian Basin oil field on March 14, 2022, in Odessa, Texas. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Critics allege CO2 pipelines ‘farm the government’ for climate money while helping oil industry

BY: - November 10, 2023

Plans to capture carbon dioxide emitted by ethanol plants, ship it via pipelines and store it underground are viewed by some as a way to fight climate change. The process is one way to keep carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, where it acts as a heat-trapping greenhouse gas. But critics say the process known […]