What Is It?
The Tennessee Gas Pipeline is a 70 year old decaying piece of construction that, once upon a time, carried natural gas from Louisiana up to Pennsylvania. To give you some perspective on its age, this pipeline was being constructed the same year that President Roosevelt died, the Germans surrendered, and an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Things that some of your grandparents might vaguely remember from their childhoods.
These people want to repurpose this 70 year old pipeline to transport natural gas liquids from Pennsylvania to Louisiana. Natural gas liquids are drastically different to natural gases - they are exponentially heavier in weight and significantly more volatile and dangerous in the event of a leak. Not to mention, the construction standards for pipelines 70 years ago were considerably less stringent than what we have today (and we still have pipeline leaks and explosions even by todays standards).
They want to run these natural gas liquids in the pipeline underneath the Ohio River, underneath the Kentucky River, and underneath several lakes that supply drinking water to a wide population.
Risks & Benefits
If you do a risk/benefit analysis of the Kinder Morgan Tennessee Gas Pipeline proposal, the communities on the forefront of the pipeline areas take on a mounting risk. Property value, water supply, land use, and health will all diminish. This old, rotting pipeline runs about 100 yards from Kit Carson Elementary School in Richmond - an area included in what the industry refers to as the pipeline's "blast zone", endangering our children's health and wellbeing.
On the benefits side: There are zero. There’s absolutely no benefit for anyone along this corridor.
Looking at this proposal from a risk/benefit standpoint - one could easily draw the conclusion that we'd be taking all of the risk and getting none of the benefits. Kinder Morgan and their investors would be reaping the profits with no consequential benefit to any of the communities along the pipeline. They're putting us in a position where we are sacrificing a multitude of potential problems for their profit.
What Can We Do?
Every citizen who lives near this pipeline, drinks from our State's water supplies, or simply values the health and landscape of the Bluegrass State needs to be educated on the risks associated with Kinder Morgan repurposing this pipeline. A motivated community is just as important as legislative process. The primary way that we can impact the outcome of the proposed use of the pipeline is through planning and zoning within the counties that have such agencies. It is through this means that we can create a number of criteria that have to be met before the pipeline "repurpose" can move forward. Boyle County has already passed a Resolution and an Ordinance that will inhibit this project from occuring in their county. In Madison County, we are already engaged with the Fiscal Court, the Department of Health, and the Planning and Zoning entity in studying the options to replicate or even pass a stronger resolution than that of Boyle County.
What's the process? First, we pass a Resolution that states our position against the pipeline. If we're successful, we can pass an ordinance that has specific restrictions in it that are based on the resolution that we passed. We've passed our resolution here in Madison County and are in the process of developing an ordinance that would be in the best interest of protecting the people in Madison County.
If you would like to help, there are several things you can do: