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Letter: Let's take advantage of North Dakota's 'geologic jackpot'

Kathy Neset, founder of Neset Consulting, supports Summit Carbon Solutions' plan to partner with over 30 ethanol plants to capture carbon dioxide emissions, compress the gas, and transport it via pipeline to Oliver and Mercer counties where it will be permanently sequestered underground.

Kathleen Neset
Kathleen Neset
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I believe carbon capture and sequestration is a key element of North Dakota’s energy future. As a geologist and businessperson, I see the benefits in capitalizing on North Dakota’s enormous underground storage potential, a resource that is unlikely to run out.

The state has the “geologic jackpot” in terms of carbon dioxide storage. Our geologic formations have more than enough capacity to safely sequester not only our own carbon dioxide but also that of our neighbors. North Dakota has over 250 billion tons of permanent underground storage capacity in deep saline formations – capacity to store 4,400 years’ worth of North Dakota’s carbon output.

Carbon capture and storage is becoming more and more important every day, as opponents of modern agriculture and traditional energy sources challenge fossil fuel-producing states by restricting access to markets. A number of markets have adopted low carbon fuel standards demanding fuels with reduced carbon intensity scores. The demand for lower carbon fuels, in addition to a challenge by Gov. Burgum to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, present a great opportunity for North Dakota to develop our underground storage resource.

Some innovators are seizing on this opportunity and making large investments into carbon capture and sequestration projects in the state. Summit Carbon Solutions, for example, is partnering with over 30 ethanol plants on its Midwest Carbon Express project to capture carbon dioxide emissions, compress the gas, and transport it via pipeline to Oliver and Mercer counties where it will be permanently sequestered underground.

When fully developed, Summit has plans to capture and store 12 million tons of carbon dioxide per year. While that may seem an incredible amount, it is only a mere fraction of our state’s total storage capacity. This $4.5 billion private investment into carbon capture and sequestration will reduce the carbon footprint of fuel production and boost our largest industries – energy and agriculture.

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Carbon capture and sequestration represents a key element of North Dakota’s energy future and an opportunity to bolster our economy for decades to come. I fully support Summit Carbon Solutions’ Midwest Carbon Express project and I hope that you will too.

Kathy Neset is the founder of Neset Consulting. Based in Tioga, the company provides wellsite geologic and geosteering services, also engineering services, gas detection services, geologic mapping, and more.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

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