Baby D's Bagels
$20 Worth of Food and Drink for Only $10

August 14, 2013

Pipe up

The Bluegrass Pipeline proposal moves forward despite local opposition

A group of roughly 100 Kentuckians from a wide swath of counties gathered at the capitol steps in Frankfort last Wednesday, rallying to voice their concerns over the controversial Bluegrass Pipeline proposal, and asking Gov. Steve Beshear to take action on their behalf.

The pipeline — a collaboration of companies Boardwalk Partners and Williams — will transport highly flammable natural gas liquids from drilling areas centered in Pennsylvania to the Gulf Coast, where most will be processed into plastic products. A new pipeline would be constructed across 13 counties in Kentucky, from Bracken in the north to Breckinridge southwest of Louisville, where it would connect with an existing pipeline repurposed for the liquids.

Speakers at the rally living near the proposed pipeline route expressed fear of what environmental devastation a leak or explosion could bring, as well as Bluegrass Pipeline’s comments on taking private property by eminent domain if they do not succeed in buying up the necessary land for its route.

The participants then headed inside to present a petition with 5,252 signatures to a representative from Gov. Beshear’s office, asking him to add two proposals to the legislative special session set to begin next week: 1) Only allow the use of eminent domain for a pipeline if it is regulated as a public utility by the Public Service Commission, and 2) Give state agencies the power to review any natural gas liquids pipelines, which currently does not exist.

However, Beshear has already said he will not take such action, stating there is not enough time to deal with this issue in the session devoted to redistricting, and the matter can be put off until the General Assembly begins next January.

Despite the reluctance of Beshear — as well as majority leadership in both the House and Senate — a growing bipartisan coalition of pipeline skeptics is forming behind these two proposals, seeking to tackle this issue before the pipeline companies move further toward solidifying their plans.


Shortly after the rally, Bluegrass Pipeline representatives held an “open house” meeting at the Frankfort downtown library — one of several across Kentucky that week — to inform the public about their project and combat “misinformation” spread by their critics.

A long line of people waited to enter a small crowded room where a dozen Bluegrass Pipeline employees waited at five separate stations to take their questions. Despite the free brownies and magnet flashlights bearing their logo, the mood of the locals was contentious, with two protesters holding up a sign touting Williams’ history of pipeline accidents next to the company’s “Safety” kiosk.

Mark Clements and his wife Mary, of Versailles, were struggling to get straight answers from Bluegrass Pipeline employee Jim Curry. “Why is this pipeline so important that you think you can come in here and take people’s land claiming eminent domain?” asked Clements.

Curry responded that they are doing their best to work with landowners, claiming some have requested the company reroute the pipeline onto their property, before stopping mid-sentence and turning to LEO Weekly. “This guy’s writing down everything I say over here.”

The Clements, as well as several other attendees LEO spoke to, expressed frustration not just at the lack of specific answers to their questions, but what they described as a “divide and conquer” format to the meeting, preventing a full airing of questions and answers in front of a large and unhappy audience.

“I don’t want to sound close-minded,” said Clements, who fears a pipeline accident could devastate the vulnerable underground aquifers in the region. “I realize there are certain things that get done in the world that are necessary for society. But I don’t want to be railroaded by big business.”

While the locals were skeptical, Bluegrass Pipeline has some big allies on their side. The company has hired one of Frankfort’s biggest lobbying firms, McCarthy Strategic Solutions, as well as the public relations firm RunSwitch, co-founded by Republican political insider Scott Jennings. And as The State Journal reported two weeks ago, the company is represented by the law firm of the governor’s son, Andy Beshear, who attended a Public Service Commission hearing with Boardwalk’s representatives in April.

But the pipeline still has some bipartisan skeptics among the state legislature, including Republican Sen. Jimmy Higdon, who represents the area where the proposed pipeline crosses Nelson County near the Marion County line. Higdon tells LEO that he and his constituents want Beshear to add the eminent domain and regulatory issues to the special session, and if the governor fails to do so, he’ll work for such an effort in next year’s General Assembly.

“I don’t think eminent domain is a partisan issue,” says Higdon. “I was here in 2006 when we worked on eminent domain, and the legislative intent was for it to only be used for public use.”

But Tom Droege, spokesperson for Bluegrass Pipeline, tells LEO that their critics are misguided. He says transporting such natural gas liquids via pipeline is much safer than using trucks and rail, and claims that more than 90 percent of the needed land has already been secured. While Droege says the use of eminent domain is a “last resort,” he adds, “We may have to. That would be for the individual property owners who decided not to work together on an easement. And there may be a situation where we decide to reroute.”


Tom FitzGerald — president of the Kentucky Resources Council, who has been active in providing pipeline critics with information — says Bluegrass Pipeline representatives have not provided the public with complete information about the project, including their claims that pipelines are “37 times safer” than transport by other means.

“The reality is if you transport it by rail or truck, you may have more accidents, but the contents of the truck or rail car are the extent of the spill,” FitzGerald tells LEO. “But if you have a pipeline rupture, you have the potential for releasing a significant amount more.”

FitzGerald also calls the company’s claims that the pipeline will provide a “public service” for Kentucky — thus giving it the power of eminent domain — dubious. “They’re going to try to spin the project as something that could serve Kentucky customers, but all of their information suggests that this is simply passing through the state on its way to the Gulf.”

FitzGerald does not rule out Bluegrass Pipeline trying to use eminent domain before the end of the year, and says Beshear needs to show leadership. “It’s a shame the governor is not taking this threat to landowners more seriously than he is. I’m not sure who is advising him on this, but the threat is certainly there, and there’s no good reason for failing to take it up in a timely fashion.”

At Bluegrass Pipeline’s open house the following day in Elizabethtown, 21 nuns and employees from the Sisters of Loretto Motherhouse in nearby Nerinx gathered in a circle at the center of the room, singing “Amazing Grace” and chanting against the project. A Bluegrass Pipeline employee — flanked by a police officer — told them to stop singing or they’d have to leave the property.

The Sisters of Loretto are refusing to sell the rights to their land, along with the monks at the Abbey of Gethsemani down the road, together totaling more than 3,000 acres along the preferred path of the pipeline. Sister Mary Swain tells LEO the action was necessary to draw attention to the potential environmental devastation of the ecologically sensitive area. “The land is a gift, it’s not just something we use,” says Swain. “Whatever the amount of money is, we’re not going to sacrifice the future for money.”

Swain says that if Bluegrass Pipeline tries to take their land through condemnation, the sisters will be waiting for them. “There’ll be civil disobedience out here if there’s eminent domain. I will sit in front of bulldozers. We’ll have people in walkers and wheelchairs out there sitting in front of bulldozers. It’ll be like the ’70s all over again.”


By macysopia
Such a great article, keep going. My job is to produce hermes kelly, I like your style.

I know what you mean, it is

By garniet
I know what you mean, it is for sure a good article! sun odyssey

Please let me know if

By ronan1122
Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for your site. You have some really great posts and I feel I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some material for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please send me an email if interested. Thank you! Kosmetik Buer

Interesting topic for a

By ronan1122
Interesting topic for a blog. I have been searching the Internet for fun and came upon your website. Fabulous post. Thanks a ton for sharing your knowledge! It is great to see that some people still put in an effort into managing their websites. I'll be sure to check back again real soon. bubblegum casting

Its such as you learn my

By jazonewil
Its such as you learn my thoughts! You appear to grasp so much approximately this, such as you wrote the e-book in it or something. I believe that you can do with some % to power the message house a bit, however other than that, this is excellent blog. A fantastic read. I will certainly be back. married women seeking connecticut women seeking ky, lonely wife michigan mature wife mature seeking, harley guys looking for single women virginia dating women single, wife have lovers new york angel wife and lovers, phone dating free nevada okanagan phone dating

That is great article.

By daxiong22
That is great article. video converter for Avchd mts, m2ts, mxf, ts video to avi, mpeg-2 conversion software free. ts converter | convert canon video e site afin d’éviter qu’il manque encore. avchd converter camcorder camra video transcode.

Hi there, I found your

By h5vkq1g
Hi there, I found your website via Google whilst looking for a comparable matter, your web site came up, it seems to be good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks. website

I learn some new stuff from

By jimy5500
I learn some new stuff from it too, thanks for sharing your information. mspy

I think that everything has

By jimy5500
I think that everything has been described in systematic manner so that reader could get maximum information and learn many things. Man and van london

Writing only comments will

By jimy5500
Writing only comments will close the discussion straight away! And will restrict the benefits from this information. Allure Limo Wine Tours

Thanks for sharing this

By jimy5500
Thanks for sharing this information. I really like your blog post very much. You have really shared a informative and interesting blog post with people.. click here

I really loved reading your

I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to undertand. Unlike additional blogs I have read which are really not tht good. I also found your posts very interesting. In fact after reading, I had to go show it to my friend and he ejoyed it as well! berita bola

I found this is an

By jimy5500
I found this is an informative and interesting post so i think so it is very useful and knowledgeable. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. visit this site right here

This blog is really great.

By alax5
This blog is really great. The information here will surely be of some help to me. Thanks!. best kickboxing classes in Franklin Square, NY

I want to get that deal

By lornacroft
I want to get that deal again. Was a huge one. This is my favorite site to get information about some big deals. Fish and Chips Takeaway Airdrie

An fascinating discussion is

By jimy5500
An fascinating discussion is value comment. I think that it is best to write extra on this matter, it won’t be a taboo topic however generally people are not enough to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers Photo Magic of Florida

Great things you’ve always

By jimy5500
Great things you’ve always shared with us. Just keep writing this kind of posts.The time which was wasted in traveling for tuition now it can be used for studies.Thanks

I think this is an

By alax5
I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.

I am happy to find your

By jimy5500
I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it easy for me to understand and implement the concept. Thank you for the post. plastic surgery

Hi! Thanks for the great

By jimy5500
Hi! Thanks for the great information you havr provided! You have touched on crucuial points! klicken Sie auf diesen Link

I am very enjoyed for this

By alax5
I am very enjoyed for this blog. Its an informative topic. It help me very much to solve some problems. Its opportunity are so fantastic and working style so speedy. custom logo design

Wonderful article, thanks

By alax5
Wonderful article, thanks for putting this together! This is obviously one great post. Thanks for the valuable information and insights you have so provided here. male waxing

I just couldn't leave your

By alax5
I just couldn't leave your website before telling you that I truly enjoyed the top quality info you present to your visitors? Will be back again frequently to check up on new posts. girlfriend activation system program reviews

I havent any word to

By jimy5500
I havent any word to appreciate this post.....Really i am impressed from this post....the person who create this post it was a great human..thanks for shared this with us. Article Submission

Very nice article, I enjoyed

By jimy5500
Very nice article, I enjoyed reading your post, very nice share, I want to twit this to my followers. Thanks!. chief keef

Awesome blog. I enjoyed

By jimy5500
Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work! buy instagram followers

I am happy to find this post

By jimy5500
I am happy to find this post very useful for me, as it contains lot of information. I always prefer to read the quality content and this thing I found in you post. Thanks for sharing. buy youtube views

Was a huge one. This is my

By alax5
Was a huge one. This is my favorite site to get information about some big deals. spellbound mehow download

It was wondering if I could

By alax5
It was wondering if I could use this write-up on my other website, I will link it back to your website though.Great Thanks. girlfriend activation system christian h. review

I recently came across your

By alax5
I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog, I will keep visiting this blog very often. violence

Your content is nothing

By alax5
Your content is nothing short of brilliant in many ways. I think this is engaging and eye-opening material. Thank you so much for caring about your content and your readers. violence

Thanks for sharing this

By alax5
Thanks for sharing this information. I really like your blog post very much. You have really shared a informative and interesting blog post with people.. buy instagram likes

I have a hard time

By jimy5500
I have a hard time describing my thoughts on content, but I really felt I should here. Your article is really great. I like the way you wrote this information. strategic campaigns inc

By windii
Truly i am impressed from this dispatch....the body who fashion this announce it was a renowned

I endow witness upward this

By windii
I endow witness upward this website overall in my modest Intimate calculator. Acknowledge you for spreading

You know your projects stand

By alax5
You know your projects stand out of the herd. There is something special about them. It seems to me all of them are really brilliant!

I would like to say that

By jimy5500
I would like to say that this blog really convinced me to do it! Thanks, very good post. water purification adya clarity

Thanks For sharing this

By jimy5500
Thanks For sharing this Superb article.I use this Article to show my assignment in is useful For me Great Work. dating online services

Thanks for a wonderful

By jimy5500
Thanks for a wonderful share. Your article has proved your hard work and experience you have got in this field. Brilliant .i love it reading. EvoWP

I have been checking out a

By jimy5500
I have been checking out a few of your stories and i can state pretty good stuff. I will definitely bookmark your blog see www rebelmouse for more acne tips

This article was written by

By jimy5500
This article was written by a real thinking writer. I agree many of the with the solid points made by the writer. I’ll be back. customer testimonials

Thanks for this great post,

By jimy5500
Thanks for this great post, i find it very interesting and very well thought out and put together. I look forward to reading your work in the future. First National Bank of Omaha Login

hi was just seeing if you

By jimy5500
hi was just seeing if you minded a comment. i like your website and the thme you picked is super. I will be back. Capital One Auto Login

If you set out to make me

By jimy5500
If you set out to make me think today; mission accomplished! I really like your writing style and how you express your ideas. Thank you. site

Thanks for taking the time

By richy9664
Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly that love and read more on this topic. domain appraisal

Most of the time I don’t

By jimy5500
Most of the time I don’t make comments on but I'd like to say that this article really forced me to do so. Really nice post!PPD

Awesome and interesting

By jimy5500
Awesome and interesting article. Great things you've always shared with us. Thanks. Just continue composing this kind of post. are there natural ways to improve vision

Admiring the time and effort

By alax5
Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer!.. Simple Bedroom Designs

Nice knowledge gaining

By alax5
Nice knowledge gaining article. This post is really the best on this valuable topic.

Its a great pleasure reading

By alax5
Its a great pleasure reading your post.Its full of information I am looking for and I love to post a comment that "The content of your post is awesome" Great work.