New Survey Shows South Dakotan's Belief that Ethanol is Critical

By Summit Carbon Solutions | April 27, 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.

In a clear contrast with the overwhelming majority of South Dakotans, the Sierra Club has made it clear they want to end ethanol production even if it harms the economy, farmers, and the broader agricultural industry that is so vital to the state.  As the organization noted in its recent filing with the Iowa Utilities Board, “Sierra Club believes that the use of ethanol serves to extend our reliance on fossil fuels, thus contributing to climate change.”

“Summit Carbon Solutions is proud to stand on the side of South Dakotans who almost unanimously believe that ethanol is critical to the state’s economy, its farmers, and the environment,” Jimmy Powell, Summit Carbon Solutions’ Chief Operating Officer, said.

Robert Blizzard of Public Opinion Strategies conducted the poll by surveying 500 registered voters in 18 counties where Summit Carbon Solutions is proposed to operate in South Dakota using a mix of cell phone and landline interviewing. The poll was conducted from April 23 to April 25, 2022 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.38%.