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Open Letter to Governor Kim Reynolds — Say No to Summit Carbon Solutions' Carbon Pipeline Project

November 23, 2022


Dear Governor Reynolds,

I am writing to share the Oakland Institute’s new report, The Great Carbon Boondoggle: Inside the Struggle to Stop Summit’s CO2 Pipeline. In light of the findings, we urge you to end your support for Summit Carbon Solutions’ carbon pipeline project.

Led by Summit Carbon Solutions, the Midwest Carbon Express intends to build a 2,000-mile pipeline to carry carbon dioxide across Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota, to eventually inject and store it underground in North Dakota. The Great Carbon Boondoggle unmasks the billion-dollar financial interests and high-level political ties driving the Midwest Carbon Express, exposing that its beneficiaries will not be the people nor the environment, but rather its investors, who stand to make billions of dollars in profit from the project. By contrast, if Summit’s carbon pipeline is built, residents across the Midwest will bear the environmental, health, and safety hazards associated with the pipeline, including potential leaks and ruptures, decreased property and crop values, and increased violence against Indigenous communities.

The Great Carbon Boondoggle also unveils the political connections and conflicts of interest driving the Midwest Carbon Express, explaining why the project is moving forward despite overwhelming opposition from local communities. The report reveals that you have received US$174,901 in donations from Summit Carbon Solutions’ founder Bruce Rastetter since 2015, as well as US$91,000 in contributions from Deere & Company, one of the leading investors in Summit’s pipeline project. Jake Ketzner, your former Chief of Staff, is now the Vice President of Government and Public Affairs for Summit Carbon Solutions.

Finally, the report draws attention to the fact that carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a false climate solution. Despite billions of taxpayer dollars spent on CCS to date, the technology has failed to significantly reduce CO2 emissions, as it has not been proven feasible or economic at scale. Crucially, the ability to capture and safely contain CO2 permanently underground remains unproven — a dangerous uncertainty given CO2 must be stored underground for thousands of years without leaking to effectively reduce emissions. This also risks permanently contaminating underground aquifers — poisoning precious drinking water for nearby communities.

For these reasons, we urge you to terminate your support for Summit Carbon Solutions’ carbon pipeline project. Without rapid action to tackle this dangerous false climate solution, more harm will be caused to communities in Iowa. We remain available to provide any additional information and look forward to your response.


Anuradha Mittal
Executive Director
The Oakland Institute