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Farmers divided over massive Midwest carbon pipeline


The $8 billion carbon pipeline proposed by Summit Carbon Solutions, has stirred controversy among Midwest farmers. The pipeline aims to capture carbon emissions from ethanol plants, reducing the carbon intensity of ethanol and opening new markets like sustainable aviation fuel. 

Spanning five states, this extensive project seeks to secure the future of corn-based ethanol by lowering its environmental impact. The promise of job creation and increased demand for corn, the project has met with resistance from the farming community. Landowners are particularly concerned about the pipeline's route, compensation for land use, and potential safety hazards. 

The opposition has grown so strong that it has prompted regulatory pushback and forced Summit to reconsider the pipeline's route over 6,300 times. The complexity of gaining approval across multiple states, alongside escalating costs due to delays and expansions, adds to the uncertainty surrounding the project's feasibility. 

Local farmers like Carol Kapperman view the offers for their land as dismissive, and safety worries dominate discussions within affected communities. These concerns are echoed by Joy Hohn, whose opposition has led her to pursue political action. 

Despite setbacks, Summit insists on the pipeline's safety and its importance for maintaining competitiveness in global agriculture. The company has revamped its approach to dealing with landowners, hoping to find a middle ground that will allow the project to proceed. 

With crucial decisions pending from state regulators, the future of this transformative project hangs in the balance, illustrating the complex interplay between agricultural development and community impacts.

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