At the annual Illinois Farm Bureau meeting, delegates passed resolutions supporting legislation that would prohibit the use of eminent domain for CO2 pipelines, call for a moratorium on CO2 pipelines until the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) completes its rulemaking process, and require CO2 pipeline and sequestration developers to demonstrate progress securing at-will easements prior to project approval by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC).
The passage of these resolutions demonstrates the Farm Bureau’s commitment to protecting property owners and Illinois’ booming agricultural economy amidst mounting concerns over property rights and the hazards CO2 pipelines pose to farmland and the livelihoods of hardworking farmers.
The Coalition to Stop CO2 Pipelines—a group of farmers, landowners, and advocates within the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition—supported legislation in the spring that would have addressed regulatory gaps in the Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) industrial cycle that put Illinois landowners, our drinking water, public health, and safety at risk. The bill did not move forward this year, but given the widespread opposition to these projects and the lack of strong protections on the state and federal level, advocates plan to push for the legislation in 2024.
In response to the passage of the Illinois Farm Bureau’s resolutions, members of the Coalition to Stop CO2 Pipelines released the following statements:
"I applaud the Illinois Farm Bureau delegates for passing these critical resolutions that protect property rights in the midst of a flurry of CO2 pipeline proposals from companies across the Midwest. Carbon dioxide pipeline projects, like the now-defeated Navigator CO2 Ventures pipeline, require permanent easements with restrictions on how we can use our property. Construction of these pipelines would permanently damage our farmland and reduce crop yields. The resolutions passed by my fellow landowners and Farm Bureau members this week uphold their commitment to protecting landowners’ property rights, while also preserving our land and livelihoods,” said Steve Hess, a fifth generation McDonough County farmer. "We need all hands on deck to ensure pipeline developers aren’t able to take our land for projects that are not for the public good. I look forward to working in 2024 to pass legislation that ensures families and farms across Illinois are protected for future generations.”
"With pending CO2 pipeline proposals from Wolf Carbon Solutions and One Earth Energy, it’s clear that Illinois remains a target for polluting companies to transport and dispose of their carbon dioxide waste. The fact that members of the Illinois Farm Bureau called for a moratorium on CO2 pipeline projects until PHMSA completes its rule-making process reflects widespread concerns that these pipelines are not currently well-regulated and safe” said Pam Richart, coordinator of the Coalition to Stop CO2 Pipelines." We look forward to working with the Illinois Farm Bureau and its members this coming year to ensure we enact legislation that protects farmers and keeps Illinois communities safe from CO2 pipelines.”