Feb. 26, 2023
Photos by: Shanna Madison/The Chicago Tribune
Story by: Nara Schoenberg/The Chicago Tribune
On a subfreezing day in January, John Feltham drove his two-seat Kawasaki utility vehicle over neatly furrowed fields glistening with snow. There were deer and coyote tracks, black crows flapping against a powder blue sky, and signs everywhere of Feltham’s deep roots in this fertile land.
The white farmhouse near the road? That was where Feltham’s mother grew up. The little cemetery just beyond the cornfield? That was where Feltham’s parents, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather were buried.
Feltham, a farmer in Knox County, 160 miles southwest of Chicago, paused to point out another local sight: His custom sign that reads, “No Trespassing by Navigator CO2 Surveyors”, directed at the Omaha company that wants to send part of a proposed 1,300-mile carbon dioxide pipeline under land his family has owned for more than 100 years.
“If you post your ground and you catch these people trespassing, you can have them arrested,” Feltham said.
The fight over carbon dioxide — what to do with it and where to store it — is ramping up in Illinois.