TAZEWELL COUNTY, Ill. (WMBD) — Despite the company Navigator canceling its plans for a pipeline through Illinois, Wolf Carbon Solutions still wants to build a CO2 pipeline.
On Wednesday, the group Citizens of Tazewell County once again spoke out against the proposed CO2 pipeline at the Tazewell County Board Meeting. The group presented the county board with signed petitions opposing the pipelines. The opposition group has acquired more than 2,000 signatures.
During the public comment portion, citizens called out the board for not taking a collective and public stance on the pipeline.
Dr. Matt Gordon, Superintendent of Rankin School District #98, said the board has had time to research the matter and to take a position.
“While you may not have the authority, you certainly have a voice, an influence. You certainly have the opportunity to represent Rankin and Tazewell County and take a stance,” he said. “Great leadership is not passive, hands-off, indecisive or simply concluding that nothing can be done because something appears to be challenging.”
Russ Crawford, District 3 Representative for the County Board, agreed with Gordon.
“This county has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years protecting, supporting, enabling, removing obstacles from all of our school districts in the county, including Rankin,” Crawford said. “It would be a tragedy to now when Rankin needs us the most to turn our backs.”
Crawford also spoke about the potential impact on the Mahomet Aquifer.
“I can’t sit here and tell you would or wouldn’t affect that aquifer. But the very fact that it might, tells me that this a big red flag.”
The District 3 representative’s words were met with cheers once he said he wanted to ask the executive committee for a resolution by the county board opposing the project.
“I agree that the county doesn’t have the authority to approve it or deny it. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stand up for the citizens of Tazewell County,” said Crawford.