Ricketts signs carbon sequestration law for ethanol plants, producers

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has signed a new law allowing ethanol plants to sequester carbon.

He tells Brownfield the legislation creates the legal and regulatory framework to sequester carbon in a geological structure. “What that means is that ethanol plants can take their carbon dioxide and store it in the ground and improve their carbon footprint,” he says. “That means that for example if you’re using E30 in your vehicle, you’re going to have a lower carbon footprint than an electric vehicle.”

Mike Flood, a Republican from Norfolk, introduced the bill that allows geologic storage only if a storage operator obtains a permit from both the commission and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Underground Injection Control program.

Before the commission issues a permit, it would hold a public hearing and consult with the state Department of Environment and Energy and the federal permitting authority.

Ricketts says the bill creates additional markets for the state’s ag products. “That’s really exciting and again that’s part of the innovation that’s going on in the industry to help make sure drivers are saving money at the pump and cleaning up the environment and of course it’s great for our farmers and ranchers.”

Ricketts made his comments after a press conference Friday celebrating state ethanol production.

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