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More needs to be known about CO2 pipelines
Letter to the Editor
Journal Gazette - Times Courier
February 18, 2022

This letter is in response to Stu Ellis’ article “Gold Beneath the Soil” from January 18, 2022.

Mr. Ellis encourages central Illinois farmers to get their share of the carbon economy. While I agree that farmers should have an opportunity to diversify their businesses, there is much to consider – and still much unknown – about these CO2 pipelines.

A Texas venture capital company, Navigator CO2 Ventures LLC, has announced its plans to pipe captured and liquified CO2 to a new Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) location in Christian County. It will pump the CO2 deep into rock layers in the St. Simons sandstone geologic formation via injection wells. This CO2 pipeline is a first in Illinois.

In February, 2020, a line break near Sartartia, Mississippi resulted in hundreds being evacuated and dozens of people needing emergency room assistance. CO2 is an asphyxiant. In high quantities it can cause unconsciousness or death. Lesser amounts can cause convulsions, disorientation, foaming at the mouth, nausea, and vomiting. In the Sartartia incident some individuals could not escape the gas cloud because their vehicles would not start due to the displacement of oxygen by the leaking CO2.

Hancock, Adams, McDonough, Henry, Knox, Fulton, Schuyler, Brown, Pike, Scott, Morgan, Sangamon, and Christian counties are in the proposed route of the Navigator Heartland liquified CO2 pipeline.

CO2 pipelines are hazardous. A leak or break can mean sickness or death if you cannot escape. As a mother, a resident of central Illinois, and a person of faith, I am concerned about the public health and safety risks of CO2 pipelines. I urge members of the public to ask questions about safety, construction, route, impact to residential areas and the environment, accident response plans, and inspection frequency. And I urge transparency and open information by the companies proposing them.

Christina Krost, Mattoon

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