Wolf Carbon Solutions US has encountered significant opposition after filing a petition with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) to construct a carbon dioxide (CO2) pipeline spanning Illinois. The project, known as the Mt. Simon Hub, aims to transport high-pressure liquified CO2 from ethanol plants in Iowa and Illinois across nine counties, with plans to inject the CO2 underground in Macon County. However, the lack of state and federal regulations pertaining to the capture, transportation, and storage of carbon dioxide has raised concerns among various stakeholders.
Numerous groups, including landowners, farmers, county governments, and environmental organizations, have voiced opposition to the project. They argue that the pipeline poses substantial environmental justice, safety, and property concerns.
Despite only sequestering approximately 3.5 million metric tons of CO2 at their existing commercial CCS site over the past decade, Wolf Carbon Solutions aims to store up to 12 million metric tons of CO2 annually through this pipeline.
Local residents and environmental groups argue that the project lacks transparency and public engagement. Joyce Blumenshine of the Heart of Illinois Group of Sierra Club Illinois highlighted the need for extensive public involvement in a project with such significant potential impacts. The Coalition to Stop CO2 Pipelines, which comprises environmental groups, landowners, and concerned residents, is actively working to mobilize opposition against the pipeline project.