The first of dozens of public meetings will be held at noon today on a proposal to build a carbon dioxide pipeline that would run the length of the state.
The Heartland Greenway project would pipe pressurized carbon across some 1,300 miles and five states, terminating in Illinois. The pipe would go through Jessica Wiskus’ land in rural Linn County. She hopes to organize neighbors against the project, which she says presents safety concerns.
“They want us to think we can’t do anything,” Wiskus says. “They want us to think it won’t matter if we talk to our neighbors, but I think that they underestimate our character and I feel that this issue actually unites us.”
The project would capture carbon emissions at multiple ethanol plants across the five states. Some researchers say carbon capture is vital to lowering emissions, but Wiskus is worried about how safe and effective the project is and she’s organizing against it.
“It unites the farmers. It unites the farmer’s daughters, like me. It unites rural and town folks. It unites the environmentalists. People on the right and the left,” she says. “And the fact that this issue can unite us is what gives me hope.”
The first meeting on the project will be held in Rock Rapids today with another in Le Mars at 6 o’clock tonight, and with 35 more Iowa meetings scheduled. It’s the second carbon capture and sequestration project recently proposed in Iowa.
More information is available on the Iowa Utilities Board website.
(By Kate Payne, Iowa Public Radio)