This image shows the change in leaf area across the globe from 1982-2015 detected by satellite. Credits: Boston University/R. Myneni. Image source: NASA.

As the dust settles from our most recent battle against the hazardous and unnecessary CO2 pipelines, I find myself weary, but nevertheless the war against the pipeline continues. Supposedly, these pipelines are in the public interest because they will allegedly lower CO2 emissions, and curb global warming due to unproven claims of a “climate crisis,” but I will address that subject at the end of this exposé. In the Fall 2023 issue of the Grassroots Quarterly, I wrote an article titled “The Wolves Are Coming!” I explained how a foreign-owned company by the name of Wolf Carbon Solutions was getting ready to set up shop in my small Village located in Coe Township, Illinois.

To recap: It was a beautiful summer morning, and I was enjoying yoga on the dock in my peaceful Port Byron community, located along the banks of the great Mississippi River. Just as I was gazing up to the tranquil sky, a majestic bald eagle soared by. I thought to myself: What a wonderful place to live. My peace and the safety of this gorgeous land would, unbeknownst to me, soon be in for an epic battle.

Later that morning, after arriving home, I was presented with a certified letter from the local post office, from a company out of Denver, Colorado (headquartered in Canada) named Wolf Carbon Solutions. I was not expecting this letter, but I soon found out that on Friday, June 16, 2023, Wolf filed an application with the Illinois Commerce Commission for a certificate of authority that would allow them to build a 260-mile pipeline transporting lethal liquid carbon dioxide from ethanol plants in Cedar Rapids and Clinton, Iowa, to Decatur, Illinois. There they would take the carbon dioxide gas from large ethanol facilities, pressurize it, and then transport it through my neighborhood and several other counties in Illinois and Iowa. This is known as carbon capture and sequestration, or CCS. In addition to the pipeline, approximately 33 operating facilities would also need to be built across our land and private property, utilizing eminent domain when necessary.

Foreign Entity

The Canadian Wolf Midstream, a Calgary-based private company, is backed by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (“CPP Investments”). Wolf was formed in 2016 with the primary goal of building CO2 pipelines across Canada and abroad. And with plenty of federally funded incentives in the United States, a mad dash is being made by these companies to line their pockets with money, and lots of it. The U.S. Department of Energy claims as many as 96,000 miles of CO2 pipelines could be built across the country by 2050; this includes Illinois and Iowa, which will put residents at risk.

And just like wolves that come in sheep’s clothing, these predators cannot be trusted. Claiming they will not use eminent domain to acquire land along the pipeline route sounds like an empty promise to me. There is no doubt in my mind that the whole plan is designed to take ordinary citizens’ land for private gain. A multitude of Midwest landowners have voiced their disapproval to these proposed CO2 pipeline projects, by contacting their local government authorities, attending county board meetings demanding opposing resolutions, and placing anti-CO2 pipeline signs in their yards and businesses.

Direct Testimony

On October 24, 2023, the direct testimony of Illinois Commerce Commission’s engineer, Brett Seagle, was taken in regard to whether Wolf’s application met the requirements of the CO2 Act and question the company’s ability to construct a CO2 pipeline. For several reasons that I will briefly describe, Mr. Seagle recommended that the ICC deny Wolf Carbon Solution’s application.

The ICC e-docket on this case was full of negative comments from landowners everywhere voicing their concerns about the safety of their communities, given there had already been a rupture on February 22, 2020, near Satartia, Mississippi. A breach in a carbon pipeline owned by Denbury Inc. left 49 people near this small town hospitalized, and about 300 residents were forced to evacuate, leaving some with permanent brain damage because of the suffocating effects of the pressurized CO2 gas.

In his testimony, Mr. Seagle mentions that Wolf failed to notify all landowners within the proposed route, and they did not accurately map the correct project width at the time of filing. The ICC engineer also states that PHMSA (Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration) is in the process of making new regulations on safety and setback distances making the notification corridor incomplete.

Wolf Withdraws

On November 20, 2023, via their attorneys, Wolf Carbon Solutions filed a Motion to Withdraw Application Without Prejudice. In that Motion they state that several parties had motioned to dismiss their application based on the identification of the “notification corridor” of parcels within one-half mile on either side of the proposed center line as improper. Additionally, Commission staff’s testimony criticized, among other things, Wolf’s lack of “agreement” with a source that would result in the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from the source, as required by 220 ILCS 75/20.

Wolf arrogantly states that they believe that their current application is sufficient, but that by filing a new application they can address and moot many, if not all, concerns expressed. The company goes on to say they will be filing a new application to construct a CO2 pipeline, “soon.”

ICC Responds

On December 4, 2023, the Illinois Commerce Commission staff responds to Wolf by stating that the Commission does not object to the Motion to Withdraw. But at the same time, the ICC does not waive any of their objections to Wolf’s current application and disagrees with the company that their current application is “sufficient.” The staff’s position remains the same as stated in Direct Testimony. “However, Staff has concerns regarding the financial and administrative impact that this, and potential future, proceedings have and will have upon Commission and Staff resources as well for intervenors, especially if Wolf plans to refile “soon.”

From the Pleading

“Litigating these proceedings cost the Commission, Staff, and parties a significant amount of time, money, and resources working within the statutory eleven-month deadline. While Staff does not speak for the Intervenors, most parties likely do not have resources to spare on repetitive litigation, especially landowners that are impacted by the Project. Another factor the Commission should consider in reviewing the Company’s Motion, as discussed in Staff’s testimony, is the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's (“PHMSA”) upcoming rule-making to update and strengthen its regulations pertaining to CO2 pipelines. With the safety of Illinois citizens of paramount concern to Commission Staff, Staff recommended the Commission deny Wolf’s Application based on safety concerns until such time that PHMSA completes its rulemaking process.”


The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration: “PHMSA’s statutory authority includes regulatory and safety authority for CO2 onshore and offshore pipeline transportation and storage incidental to transportation.” It’s important to note that PHMSA does not have the authority to regulate the siting or routing of any pipelines, including CO2 pipelines.

While the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulates the siting and routing of natural-gas pipelines, it does not do the same for CO2 pipelines; therefore, this responsibility rests largely with the individual states and counties through which the pipeline will operate. There are, however, some federal agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, Army Corps of Engineers, and Department of Interior that require permits for CO2 pipelines or easements/rights of way if they impact resources over which that agency has jurisdiction. PHMSA supports these agencies in their reviews when requested.

In September of 2023, PHMSA issued a letter to CO2 pipeline executives to try to clarify federal, state, and local government pipeline authorities: “PHMSA cannot prescribe the location or routing of a pipeline and cannot prohibit the construction of non-pipeline buildings in proximity to a pipeline. Local governments have traditionally exercised broad powers to regulate land use, including setback distances and property development that includes development in the vicinity of pipelines. Nothing in the federal pipeline safety law impinges on these traditional prerogatives of local or state government, so long as officials do not attempt to regulate the field of pipeline safety preempted by federal law.” (Letter from PHMSA to Wolf Carbon Solutions-9/15/2023)

Illinois Legislation

There is currently a Safety Moratorium Bill HB 4835 that was heard in the Illinois House Committee on April 2, 2024, and was able to be voted out of the committee, which is a good thing and a major hurdle, but still has a long way to go. The Illinois Farm Bureau as of now will not endorse the moratorium bill and efforts are being made to gain their support.

“The bill temporarily stops CO2 pipelines and allows Illinois the time it needs to develop regulations that will protect its residents. The moratorium would expire when one of the following happens:

  • PHMSA adopts new rules to improve safety and oversight of CO2 pipelines and State agencies complete a setback study and create criteria for safe setbacks; or

  • The General Assembly passes a comprehensive CCS bill that maximizes protections for Illinois residents’ health, safety, land, and water. This bill would provide for safe setbacks, funding and training for first responders, and eliminate eminent domain for CO2 pipelines. This bill would also regulate carbon capture and sequestration projects in addition to CO2 pipelines; or

  • Four years have passed.” (Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition)

“Meanwhile, Illinois Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea filed legislation that would set up a framework for the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the state.

“Backed by industry organizations and unions, this effort is a fresh attempt at creating conditions for CCS to develop, following the retracted applications from Navigator CO2 Ventures and Wolf Carbon Solutions last year, with Navigator ultimately canceling its 1,350-mile pipeline.

“Senate Bill 3311 and House Bill 569, would create the Climate and Landowner Protection Act, aiming to provide clarity when it comes to landowners’ rights for the pore space under private property and the exact responsibilities project developers would have when it comes to safety.” (“Illinois Restarts Efforts to Create Carbon Capture Legislation,” Carbon Herald, March 16, 2024, by Vasil Velev)

Climate Alarmists vs. Climate Realists

The construction of CO2 pipelines is a direct result of the federal government and climate alarmists’ effort to reduce CO2 emissions to “save the planet” from global warming due to climate change. However, to Nobel prize winner, Dr. John Clauser, and a multitude of other scientists, there is no climate emergency. “According to Patrick Moore, chairman and chief scientist of Ecosense Environmental and co-founder of Greenpeace, the climate change messaging isn’t based on fact. Mr. Moore said that over the past few decades, the climate message has continually changed; first, it was global cooling, then global warming, then climate change, and now it’s disastrous weather.” (“Climate Scientist Say We Should Embrace Higher CO2 Levels,” by Katie Spence)

“A global network of more than 1800 scientists and professionals has prepared this urgent message. Climate science should be less political, while climate policies should be more scientific. Scientist should openly address uncertainties and exaggerations in their predictions of global warming, while politicians should without bias count the real costs as well as imagined benefits of their policy measures.” (Clintel-World Climate Declaration: “There is No Climate Emergency”)

CO2 is considered to be the gas of life and is actually plant food in its natural form with NASA-satellite imagery analysis showing significant plant growth over the past 35 years. “Research from NASA as well as multiple other studies conclude that the increased plant growth is a response to rising carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere creating better growing conditions. The increased plant coverage mitigates surface warming due to increased efficiency of heat and water vapor transfer to the atmosphere.

“Climate models produce implausibly hot forecast for future warming. Recent peer-reviewed scientific papers have proven many climate models are biased warmer than reality. The accuracy of climate model projections is limited by the understanding of the myriad complex factors and interactions that drive global temperatures and the ability to model them. Among the numerous factors which drive global temperatures that models do not simulate well two stand out: cloud cover and Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity.’’ (“Climate Model Fallibility – Climate at a Glance,” The Heartland Institute)

As more and more scientists concur that the climate crisis is based on pseudoscience, it is important that their voices and data are acknowledged. We the people need to continue to combat the one-sided narrative propagated by climate alarmists and the current administration by educating ourselves and fearlessly stand against CO2 pipelines. Grassroot movements such as that of Illinois Freedom Alliance are key to moving forward and accomplishing that goal.


Rochelle Arnold is a freelance writer, paralegal, and founder of Change the World Ministries. She has published two books: SOJOURNERS: In a Strange Land and Rags or Robes: Finding Your Identity in Christ, which can be found on Amazon. Find more articles and blogs by Rochelle at and

This article was originally published in part in the Spring 2024 issue of Grassroots Quarterly, a publication of Illinois Freedom Alliance.

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