Rambling through central Illinois, rect, pondering a pipeline.
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A sizable group of landowners from Knox and Henry counties jammed into the Knoxville American Legion hall Tuesday morning to hear information about a proposed Heartland Greenway carbon sequestration pipeline. The proposed 1,300-mile pipeline would transport CO2 emissions from ethanol plants to a subterranean spot in Christian County. Somehow spending all the money to pump CO2 across state lines into Illinois will allow ethanol from plants in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota to be sold to a wider, greener market including California and beyond. Somehow, by cutting down trees and running lots of heavy machinery to tear things up we are going green. Make sense yet? … Big picture aside, landowners in Knoxville were mainly concerned about whether the pipeline was going to cross their property and how much they would get paid it if did. Land agents were on hand to show the current proposed pipeline path (though it could change since this is fairly preliminary and the possible path could shift within a one-half mile wide zone). But answers to the money question were very elusive. There’s still time to sort things out on this one, as there are plenty of permits to be obtained and folks from Navigator Ventures LLC said there would be no shovels in the ground until 2024 at the earliest. I’ll have a story on the pipeline in our next issue.
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Watching Alabama play in a football game is generally so frustrating that it’s almost not worth the time. Obviously, I’m not a Bama backer. But something made me watch Monday’s national championship game, hoping against hope that the evil empire of the Crimson Tide would get beat. For the first time in a long time, my football wishes came true – thanks mostly to a stout Georgia defense but also to a skinny, curly haired kid named Stetson Bennett IV, who looks more like a clerk at Barnes & Noble or a hockey player than a major Division I quarterback. Bennett’s unassuming stature no doubt factored into his status as a walk-on at Georgia and explains why elites like Alabama never bothered to recruit him. That’s probably why he spent the last few minutes of the title game crying on the sidelines in a memorable display of pure joy. Afterwards, Bennett couldn’t explain the tears. They just came, he told an announcer. When asked what his victory meant for walk-ons everywhere, Stetson struggled for an answer. But after already making my evening by slaying Bama, he took it up another notch with the perfect answer. “Life is tough. You’ve got to fight through it.” Exactly. Thank you Stetson! … Sure, Georgia is also a perennial SEC power and regularly gets top talent. But cheering for Alabama is like rooting for the IRS. They have such an advantage over everyone else that you almost want to give up (or hire the folks at Blucker, Kneer & Associates to help even the score). And while Nick Saban is obviously a great coach, he’s got no business acting in commercials. The duck and Deion steal every scene he’s in on those AFLAC ads.
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Doesn’t it stink to be a hypocrite? For years, I’ve blamed the pressures of being publicly traded as one cause in the demise of daily newspapers. That occurred to me again recently as I found myself rooting for the cigarette-selling Altria Group Inc. (MO on the New York Stock Exchange) and praying quietly that more states will pass bills allowing medical treatment with psilocybin, the active compound in psychedelic mushrooms and a key product for MindMed (MNMD on the NASDAQ). The only reason for concern is my tiny ownership share in both companies, whose business practices can certainly be questioned. When you own something solely to make money off of it, problems can ensue. … Cold days are good for reading and my latest is S.C. Gwynne’s book “Empire of the Summer Moon,” a detailed account of the rise and fall of Quanah Parker and the Comanches, the most powerful Indian tribe in American history. What I really enjoy is the book’s great detail of Comanche life. In the winter, men spent most of their time wrapped in buffalo robes in their tipis, eating buffalo meat – a passage read shortly after my kids and I were wrapped in blankets in our living room, eating deer sausage and watching the Bills win the AFC East. … Parting shot: It will be interesting to see if we can learn what prompted Yates City Village President Leslie Gavelys and clerk Stephanie Arrowsmith to tender letters of resignation recently.
Contact Jeff Lampe at (309) 231-6040 or email@example.com