How Midwest Landowners Helped to Derail One of the Biggest CO2 Pipelines

"Lured by billions of dollars in federal funding for carbon capture, developers are proposing huge pipelines to carry the CO2 across the Midwest. In Illinois, one retired academic united her neighbors to fight a key project."

"After half a decade of failed attempts, Kathleen Campbell thought 2021 would finally be the year she retired. That is—until she received a letter in December from Navigator CO2 Ventures.

The company wanted to build part of its carbon dioxide pipeline through her property, about 1,000 feet from her rural Illinois home, just south of Springfield, which she had shared with her husband for more than 30 years. The massive project would ultimately span five Midwestern states, and Navigator was threatening to seize her property through eminent domain if she didn’t grant them an easement.

“This has absolutely ruined my retirement,” Campbell remembers thinking. Anxiety gave way to anger as she imagined a backhoe tearing up the beets, peppers and other vegetables growing in the quarter-acre garden that she and her husband had spent years cultivating. Later, she would learn a CO2 pipeline in rural Mississippi had ruptured just a year prior, sending at least 45 people to the hospital.

But Navigator’s executives couldn’t have known who they were dealing with. A distinguished research professor at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Campbell had spent her life combing through complex health studies and thwarting deep-pocketed pharmaceutical companies from bringing potentially dangerous drugs to market. Within months, she had helped birth a formidable opposition campaign to the pipeline."

Kristoffer Tigue reports for Inside Climate News November 5, 2023.

Source: Inside Climate News, 11/07/2023