Bluegrass Pipeline not a done deal

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To the editor:
Many Anderson county residents have heard about the [proposed] Bluegrass natural gas liquids pipeline.  Locally, there have been community meetings where residents have voiced various concerns, dozens of articles in various newspapers across the state, and 10 counties passing resolutions against the project.
Landowners, residents and lawmakers have joined together across the Bluegrass to protect their land and their communities.   
To counter all of the negative publicity that this project has garnered from local residents and landowners, the pipeline company (co-owned by billion dollar energy giants Williams and Boardwalk) put a tremendous amount of money into advertising. Many large, slick mailers went out, full-page ads were purchased in all the local newspapers, telemarketer calls began, and even appearances on the local news.
Who are we to believe, a multi-billion dollar energy company looking to maximize profits for shareholder or our neighbors, local residents and officials?
The facts are facts. This project is a bad deal for America, Kentucky and its landowners and our children and grandchildren. The project will not contribute to energy independence and puts neighbors at odds and at risk.
The benefits to Kentuckians are minimal (only a few full time jobs, temporary jobs are not promised to locals, ect.), and the easement is a bad deal for landowners (permanent, more pipelines or pump stations could be built in the easement, minimal amount of money compared to value of the land).
The proposed route is risky and threatens ground and surface water, and the pipeline will not benefit those who buy or inherit the land. Please visit www.nobluegrasspipeline.com for more information and fact-checked research.
But can money buy anything and everyone, despite the many negative aspects of the project?
While it is true that some landowners in Anderson County have been swayed by the money offered in exchange for permanent easements to transport hazardous liquids through their land, there are many landowners united in opposition who will not sell easements. Perhaps some landowners feel that if their neighbors have signed an easement, they should too because they fear condemnation of their land. Should we just give up and accept the money in exchange for our land and our families’ safety?
There are several reasons why this project could fail and is not a done deal. The company is simply trying to buy as many easements to show to their shareholders that the project is still possible. So if you do not want this hazardous liquids pipeline on your property, I urge you to not give in.

Eminent domain
Republican state Sen. Jimmy Higdon of Lebanon and Rep. David Floyd of Bardstown have pre-filed a bill that would limit the power of eminent domain (condemnation) to only utilities regulated by the public service commission. This would prevent the Bluegrass Pipeline from even arguing that they have eminent domain. There is a tremendous amount of support for this legislation and state Sen. Julian Carroll and state Rep. Kim King are already co-sponsors of this bill.

Competition with pipeline
It’s a race to the gulf with natural gas liquids. Kinder Morgan and Mark West recently announced a similar project using existing infrastructure and they have said that this project “absolutely competes with the Bluegrass Pipeline project.” This project repurposes existing natural gas lines to transport natural gas liquids and is already built.  This natural gas line runs through Kentucky as well, but not in Anderson County.

Wall Street is watching
Recently the stocks of one of the parent companies of Bluegrass Pipeline were downgraded in part due to the uncertainty of the project (competition, difficulty acquiring easements, ect.). The companies behind the project are driven by the profits of their shareholders, so if the shareholders lose interest, the project fails.
Tara Littlefield Berry