Approximately 40 people crammed into a classroom at Lincoln Land Community College-Jacksonville on Tuesday night to hear a presentation from a large coalition of people attempting to place a halt on the permit for the Heartland Greenway CO2 Sequestration Pipeline.
The Coalition to Stop CO2 Pipelines gave a 2-hour presentation to the crowd about the hazards of CO2 Pipelines and what they can do to halt the permitting process for the pipeline that is currently before the Illinois Commerce Commission.
Coalition member Francesca Butler says she wants citizens to have as much information as possible about the science and the implications of putting the pipeline in the ground. She says she wants people to make educated decisions about their land when it comes to good-neighbor and easement agreements with Navigator CO2 Ventures, the company who operates the pipeline. The coalition informed the crowd that Navigator CO2 Ventures is an offshoot of Navigator Energy Services, the largest crude oil midstream provider in the Anadarko Basin that covers portions of the western Great Plains and the Texas Panhandle.
Butler says she hopes people got one main takeaway from the event on Tuesday night: “Consult your lawyer or your official before signing anything that Navigator sends you. Make sure you are really well-informed and well-educated before you decide what to do in terms of allowing pipeline usage.”
All three Morgan County Commissioners were on hand for the presentation including several landowners who indicated that they were within a one-mile radius of the pipeline’s proposed easement. Steve Hess of the McDonough County Farm Bureau was on hand to inform the crowd that he is attempting to put a group of farm bureau members together to lobby the Illinois Farm Bureau to take a stance on the pipeline’s construction. He said that he hopes the state Farm Bureau adopts the mindset of the recently passed two-year moratorium the state of California has taken on CO2 pipelines until new regulations can be written by the federal government.
Hess says that the Cass-Morgan Farm Bureau has already voted to oppose the pipeline’s construction, and was the first farm bureau to do so.
Lan Richart, an ecologist with the Coalition, says that four counties that are effected by the pipeline have opted to file moratoriums and intervention actions with the ICC. More information about the opposition of the pipeline can be found at noillinoisco2pipelines.org. Direct information about the Heartland Greenway can be found at heartlandgreenway.com.