As farmers across Iowa and Nebraska prepare for the quickly approaching planting season, it is important to take time to reflect on how our work in the heartland has a global impact. We work tireless hours to feed and fuel the world because that is what keeps the world moving. We must also consider the possibility of what may happen to our work if the agriculture industry does not continue to innovate.
Carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) technology has been widely discussed in coffee shops, townhalls, and online over the past two years. These are important conversations to have to learn more information about safety, the impact of the project construction on tiling, and many other topics. It will be critical to the survival of the agriculture industry to construct and operate projects such as Navigator CO2’s Heartland Greenway.
I am impressed with the honest conversations the Navigator CO2 team has been having with landowners, elected leaders, county leaders, and EMS services around the redundant safety mechanisms that have been put in place. From the 24/7, 365 monitoring, foot and vehicle patrols, aerial patrol, and state-of-the-art leak detection system, we can rest assured of the safety of this important technology.
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Ask any farmer what their most valuable asset is, and most of them will share that it is their land. The Navigator CO2, which is based out of Omaha, grew up on farms and share that same sentiment. Their mission is to be good neighbors in the community, which is why the pipe will be installed a minimum of five feet below the ground’s surface. In fact, in many places the pipe will be deeper as the company is committed to maintaining a one-foot separation below field drainage tile and two-foot separation from other existing utilities the project may cross.
With these assurances in place, it becomes clearer more than ever why we need CCUS technology to move forward. By capturing and sequestering carbon dioxide from ethanol production, we can secure the future of ethanol as an extremely low carbon liquid fuel that will be in high demand in our own country and globally. Some low carbon claims are just smoke and mirrors. The Heartland Greenway’s technology is a very honest and forward claim to low carbon ethanol fuel.
I encourage landowners across the Corn Belt to continue to have these important conversations with not only Navigator CO2, but also their local tiling experts and members of the ethanol industry to learn the accurate information from the experts. With this newfound knowledge, I believe many will see the opportunity the Heartland Greenway presents to the agriculture industry and why we must support it. The ethanol industry is critical to profitability on our farms, this CCUS is a technology that will assure the corn ethanol place in liquid fuels is extended far into the future.
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