Holding the Line: Shelby County landowners oppose carbon capture pipeline
SHELBY COUNTY — Over a year ago, Sherri Webb, Jan Reinig, and Rick Chipman, along with other Shelby County landowners, received a certified letter in the mail.
The letter, or letters — because Chipman “Received 17 of them that day”— were from Summit Carbon Solutions, a company based out of Ames.
The letter stated a proposed $4.5 billion pipeline project would help the environment and ethanol plants by capturing planet-warming carbon dioxide and pumping it out of the state to be stored deep underground.
The letter proposed using part of their land for a pipeline that would stretch across the Midwest and Shelby County.
Webb immediately noticed the word “easement.”
“Once they have the easements, anything can happen,” she said. “Easements are forever.”
The pipeline company was asking permission to dig under the land that had been in her family for over a century.
“I told them no, out of politeness,” Webb stated.
The Woodbine resident and her siblings share 80 acres of “more than dirt” in Shelby County. The land, once belonged to her grandmother who, Webb said, was bequeathed the farm “At a time when most women were lucky to inherit dishes.”
Webb, often found wearing a shirt that boasts a picture of her family’s farm below the words “No eminent domain,” said, “It’s more than land, it’s about all those who lived and loved the land before us, and those who will come after us.”
She has become one of Shelby County’s strongest pipeline opponents, and is a staple at the Shelby County Board of Supervisor’s meetings and public hearings, often providing donuts, maps depicting the proposed pipeline route, and offering advice to other land owners.
“I have never protested anything. And I grew up during Vietnam,” Webb said. This Wednesday, she made the trip to Des Moines for a “Carbon Pipeline Opposition Day of Action.”