How a Retiree Rallied Neighbors to Scuttle a Multistate Carbon Pipeline

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“People think carbon dioxide isn’t dangerous,” however analysis suggests in any other case.

This story was initially revealed by Inside Climate News and is reproduced right here as a part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

After half a decade of failed makes an attempt, Kathleen Campbell thought 2021 would lastly be the yr she retired. That is—till she acquired a letter in December from Navigator CO2 Ventures.

The firm needed to construct a part of its carbon dioxide pipeline by means of her property, about 1,000 toes from her rural Illinois dwelling, simply south of Springfield, which she had shared together with her husband for greater than 30 years. The large mission would in the end span 5 Midwestern states, and Navigator was threatening to seize her property by means of eminent area if she didn’t grant them an easement.

“This has absolutely ruined my retirement,” Campbell remembers pondering. Anxiety gave approach to anger as she imagined a backhoe tearing up the beets, peppers and different greens rising within the quarter-acre backyard that she and her husband had spent years cultivating. Later, she would be taught a CO2 pipeline in rural Mississippi had ruptured just a year prior, sending at the very least 45 individuals to the hospital.

But Navigator’s executives couldn’t have identified who they have been coping with. A distinguished analysis professor at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Campbell had spent her life combing by means of advanced well being research and thwarting deep-pocketed pharmaceutical firms from bringing probably harmful medicine to market. Within months, she had helped delivery a formidable opposition marketing campaign to the pipeline.

About two weeks in the past, Navigator lastly capitulated and canceled its mission. The firm formally cited “unpredictable nature of the regulatory and government processes involved” as its purpose for the choice. But fact be identified, it was landowners like Campbell whose opposition wore them down and proved decisive.

“I think that I feel safe in my own home now,” Campbell mentioned in a telephone interview on the day of Navigator’s announcement. “Happy doesn’t come near it—delighted, euphoric?”

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