LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Posted April 28, 2022
I have listened to your editorials over the past few year and generally have agreed with the sentiments you share on you rural central Illinois radio stations. However, the editorial concerning the Christian County economic benefits of carbon wells and pipeline did not acknowledge the ad dollars the companies have spent with your company. As an individual I respect your right to hold any opinion, but as a business owner your credibility on this topic is the same as the company paying you and attempting to site the project. That credibility not ZERO, but its pretty close.
For the specifics of the carbon project. As is stands, this project will not bring any tax revenue to any government agencies. The carbon wells and pipeline are not taxable. The county is looking to add a mechanism to tax the wells to offset some of the use our natural resources and risk associated with the fledging industry. There are currently no businesses or Industry asking for this carbon dump to add jobs and resources to our area. The farmers would receive a modest payment, but most have expressed its not worth the risk. This project provides no specific economic benefit to our county and adds to the environmental pollution risk.
If you believe climate change is man made, this carbon dump and legislative infrastructure will allow fossil fuels to continue to be used to further pollute the environment. There is not enough pore space in Central Illinois to hold the carbon pollution of the world. Therefore the minor positive environment impact is not worth the dollar invested.
If you are skeptical of the man made climate change movement, this project is a pyramid scheme to funnel my tax dollars and yours to a few companies. (Think of all the money spent on the “Hole in the Ozone”). And most likely those companies will funnel some of the money back to legislators that came up with the carbon sequestration concept.
As for other green energy project interest in our county. Wind towers, Solar panels, Batteries storage fields. As they have been approved or proposed, these projects provide very little economic benefit to our residents. Some new tax revenue or less current property tax depending on how the taxing body handles the project. The companies are not local and the energy produced does not stay local. There may be potential for economic development for companies to locate here and use this “green” energy, but this has not been a part of the conversation so far. While it is true the grain produced does not stay local, agriculture provides many local jobs. Our area soil is uniquely suited for growing crops that does not require irrigation or over abundance of fertilizer. Solar panels could be put literally anywhere else. Including the buildings and the houses of those using the energy that came from our area. Illinois continues to lose population and the State, County and Local green energy policy is telling our current residents “You don’t have to live here to use our resources, we will send them to you.” Why look at windmills, solar panel, carbon well fields if you can move some where else and still get the benefit.
As you can probably tell, my bias is towards preserving farmland and the rural heritage of this county. That said, I am not opposed to some green energy projects that provide a significant economic impact to our county residents. So far, none of these projects qualify to my standards. I believe in individual property rights, so if you want to sink a carbon well on your property, install solar panels or erect wind towers on your own property the County should provide zoning ordinances that allow you do so, while providing reasonable protection for your neighbors.
Reasonable people can disagree on topics and still have a civil conversation.. I hope this letter meets that criteria. This is certainly how I approach my involvement on the County Board. I have a responsibility to myself, my family and my constituents to stand up for what I think is the best interest of our County.
Christian County Board District 2