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Illinois Oil Pipelines

  • Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd 1829 N Rockton Ave Rockford, Illinois 61103 (map)

On May 24th, the League will cosponsor a forum on the oil pipeline that runs through Illinois. Dave and Sandy Davis will speak on the impact of the oil pipelines in Illinois and the spill in Kalamazoo, the largest inland spill in the country to date. You can read about the aftermath here and how Enbridge has handled it.

NOTARIES: Where you come in is to notarize petitions as part of the actions that need to be taken.
ACTION: It's simply registering with the Illinois Commerce Commission to be a participant. Participants will be asked to fill out the paperwork and have you notarize it. This first simple step will send a message to the ICC and the oil companies that the public is now awake and watching. The goalis to sign up 1000 people in the state.

Illinois is known as "the Superhighway of Oil". Many of these pipelines run just east of Belvidere, crossing under the Kishwaukee River many times because of its winding nature. The tarsands oil is very thick and will not flow unless it's mixed with a cocktail of dangerous chemicals like DETA, N-AEP, TETA, TEPA, PEHA, HEPA and HEPA-S140. These are dangerous chemicals, that are known carcinogenic, moving in large amounts through Illinois. These chemicals are mixed with the oil to get it to move inside the pipes. Then the chemicals are separated out and sent back up the pipelines to Canada for reuse in a separate pipeline. At present, in just this one pipeline near Belvidere, there is up to 1.2 MILLION barrels PER DAY. Consider there are 42 gallons per barrel and1.2 million barrels per day moving along this route. So two things, imagine the pressure inside these 45 inch lines and the size of the leak, when it does happen before it's discovered.

The Canadian company named Enbridge, owns many of these US and Illinois pipelines. It's a foreign owned company and doesn't benefit us at all. They pay almost no taxes to our state and we do not benefit from this oil. Most of this oil, because of changes in the exportation laws, is exported to other countries. 

The approval process in Illinois starts with a request to the Illinois Commerce Commission, the ICC. The request is for a Certificate in Good Standing and authority to seize private property using eminent domain. The private company must show that it made "reasonable attempts" to negotiate with landowners. It must also show that, among other things, it is financially able to complete the project, that there is a public need for the pipeline and that public convenience and necessity requires the pipeline.