This month’s Pipeline Fighters Hub webinar focuses on state-level actions being taken to protect communities from carbon pipeline projects: “State of the States: CO2 Pipelines.”
Our organizer comrades from several of the states impacted by CO2 pipelines (NE, IA, SD, ND, MN, IL) will join to give an overview of the flurry of carbon pipeline-related bills introduced at state legislatures including Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota and Illinois. Some bills seek to ban eminent domain for carbon pipelines, while others impose a similar moratorium that counties have chosen, and some target the unfair laws for landowners that govern surveying and other aspects of unwanted interactions with pipeline companies.
Eliot Huggins, Dakota Resource Council, North Dakota Easement Team (North Dakota)
Eliot graduated from Michigan State University in spring of 2021. He studied International Relations with a concentration in Science, Technology, Environment Public Policy. While in school, Eliot was involved in Student government, MSU Divestment, and served as the Education Officer for one of the co-op houses on campus. Eliot grew up in the beach town of Traverse City, Michigan, and attended high school in the rural community of Elk Rapids. His work experience includes organizing for the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights. Eliot also has experience working on electoral campaigns across the State of Michigan. Prior to joining DRC, he resided in Sterling, Illinois where he engaged with volunteer management and event coordination for a senior wellness nonprofit.
Chase Jensen, Dakota Rural Action, South Dakota Easement Team (South Dakota)
Chase was raised in MN and NE before attending the University of Sioux Falls. It was there that he met his wife. After college they moved to Texas to pursue graduate degrees from Truett Seminary at Baylor University. He most recently served as the Director of Education at a non-profit farm where he developed educational gardens, taught community classes, led programs focused on food insecurity and food justice, and co-directed a residential farm internship. Chase serves as the DRA lobbyist, the Brookings County chapter organizer, the lead staff on the carbon pipeline campaign, and the Community Energy Development Committee organizer.
Jane Kleeb, Bold Nebraska & Pipeline Fighters Hub (Nebraska)
Jane is an experienced grassroots organizer, manager, political strategist and nonprofit entrepreneur. Recently profiled by PBS in a film called “Blue Wind on a Red Prairie,” Jane is a leader who deeply understands the need to connect issues that rural and urban communities are facing to politics in order to win elections in Nebraska. In 2010, Kleeb founded the grassroots group Bold Nebraska leading farmers, ranchers and Native allies in an effort to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. Jane’s organizing style earned her the title “Keystone Killer” and she was featured in the NY Times Magazine. Bold Nebraska expanded into the national Bold Alliance focusing on protecting property rights, water and the clean energy transition. Jane started her term as the Nebraska Democratic Party Chair in December 2016. Jane Kleeb lives in rural Nebraska with her husband Scott and three daughters–Kora, Maya and Willa.
Jessica Mazour, Sierra Club Iowa Chapter (Iowa)
Jessica was named Conservation Coordinator for the Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club in 2020. Environmental issues are a big passion of mine. I’ve spent the last 8 years working to pass strong environmental protections in Iowa. During my career, I’ve worked with communities to stop dozens of factory farms from building, helped shift the narrative around Iowa’s water quality, and activated hundreds of people to lobby their local, state, and federal elected officials. Most recently I was the Iowa and Oklahoma Political Director for the Bernie Sanders Campaign where I had the opportunity to help draft Senator Sanders Rural Revitalization Policy and dig-in on structural changes to improve our agriculture and environmental systems. I have a small urban farm where I grow over 100 varieties of rare and heirloom vegetables, herbs, and flowers. After a long day’s work, you will probably find me in my greenhouse tending to way too many plants.
Pam Richart, Coalition to Stop CO2 Pipelines (Illinois)
Pam Richart is a land use and environmental planner by training and Co-Director of Eco-Justice Collaborative (EJC), a non-profit based in Champaign Illinois. EJC was formed in 2008 to work for solutions to climate change that integrate environmental, economic, and social justice. In 2009, EJC formed a coalition to close Chicago’s two coal plants, the city’s largest stationary source of CO2 emissions and health-harming particulates. Those plants, located in densely-populated Hispanic neighborhoods, were closed in 2012. Pam recently co-authored “Transforming Agriculture in the Midwest: A Critical Response for Climate Change. This report, with its focus on equity, was prepared for RE-AMP, a network of over 130 non-profits whose mission is to set collective strategy and enable collaboration on climate solutions in the Midwest. Within the past year, Pam helped found, and now serves as lead organizer for the Coalition to Stop CO2 Pipelines. This Illinois coalition consists of nine non-profits and over 100 landowners working together stop CO2 pipelines and carbon sequestration proposed by Navigator and Wolf/ADM. That work is expanding to include organizing to pass a state-wide carbon capture and storage / CO2 pipeline bill that she helped draft with principal authors from Earthjustice and the Sierra Club.
Maggie Schuppert, CURE (Clean Up Our River Environment) (Minnesota)
Maggie joined CURE at the end of 2021 as Campaigns Director. She is helping to build CURE’s capacity for strategic communications, campaigns, and advocacy. Maggie is a Minnesota transplant from the East Coast. Before moving here in 2015, she worked around the world with communities that have been adversely impacted by large-scale energy and development infrastructure projects, helping them fight for their rights. She has brought this commitment to environmental rights, justice, and accountability to her environmental organizing work in Minnesota. She is excited to do the same as a member of CURE’s committed team. Maggie has an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University, an MA from the University of Essex (UK), and a postgraduate certificate in Evaluation Studies from the University of Minnesota. When she is not giving corporations and state agencies a hard time, she can be found in Ely, MN trying her hand at cold-climate gardening or DIY home improvement with her partner and their six cats.
CHAT NOTES FROM THE WEBINAR / Q&A:
- Pipeline Fighters Hub County Ordinance and State Legislation Tracker for CO2 Pipelines: https://pipelinefighters.org/news/co2-pipelines-county-ordinance-state-legislation-tracker/
- Fantastic letter to the editor of Des Moines Register, by landowner Bonnie Ewoldt ‚Äî refutes Iowa Renewable Fuels Assn study on ethanol + CO2 pipelines: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/iowa-view/2023/02/26/ethanol-study-seems-like-scare-tactic/69936388007/
- Fun fact: Navigator reports having secured just *6%* of easements needed for its proposed sequestration site in Illinois before it withdrew its ICC application (Chicago Tribune, 2/26/23: “Despite over 8,500 contacts with Illinois landowners since August, Navigator has managed to get only 6% of those along the proposed path of the pipeline to sign easements or options, according to a Navigator document the Tribune obtained from a lawyer representing opponents of the pipeline project in proceedings before the Illinois Commerce Commission.”
- For sequestration of CO2 underground, these companies also need to obtain separate permits, usually from US EPA
- Some states, like ND and WY, have already applied for local primacy over EPA to permit these local underground injection wells in their states, making them typically more streamlined, and easier to obtain
- To Dana Kennedy’s question: We have not been able to track easements in SD to this point, although I would not say we have exhausted this question!
- To Dana’s question: Pipeline companies are required to file the “Exhibit H” maps which are maps of all signed/unsigned parcels. Summit is the only company that has filed these maps with the state so far.
- Bold Alliance published a Landowner and County Leader Guide to CO2 Pipeline Risks – it contains a model county ordinance for CO2 pipelines drafted by attorney Paul Blackburn, if you scroll through to the end: https://pipelinefighters.org/news/nebraska-landowner-and-county-leader-guide-on-carbon-pipeline-risks-december-2022/
- General Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) facts & info: www.carboncapturefacts.org
- There are also some great webinars out there to go over the basics: Sierra Club Iowa Chapter, Coalition to Stop CO2 Pipelines, Pipeline Fighters Hub and more are good YouTube channels to check out.
- To David Cooper: Yes – there is an eminent domain process in Iowa. When the Iowa Utilities Board issues a permit, eminent domain can be granted with it.
- Another source for background and additional info on these projects in MN: carbonpipelinesmn.org
- Cradle to grave analysis is something we will try to be bringing into the scoping process for the EIS.
- Are you a “computational fluid dynamics” expert who can assist with CO2 plume modeling? Email email@example.com