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:
On Thursday 12 November the Richmond Chamber of Commerce presented their highest award to Craig Williams of Berea , Chemical Weapons Program Director at the Kentucky Environmental Foundation (KEF) for his “integral role in keeping our community safe by holding the United States military accountable” in eliminating the chemical weapons stored in Madison County. At the Chamber’s annual Awards Banquet, Williams received the Wallace G. Maffett Award. This award is presented in former Richmond Mayor Maffett’s honor to “one who best exemplifies his commitment and efforts to the community”. Also, “someone who devotes their time, experience and efforts in order to promote and improve the quality of life with no regard of personal gain; acts in continual service to the community; exhibits a true interest in Richmond and Madison County and, has made significant impact on the quality of life therein; and, has served the community with unselfish motives.” KEF’s Executive Director, Heather Warman said, “ I can’t think of anyone who exemplifies the criteria for this Award better then Craig. He has devoted over 30 years to ensuring protection of he public and the environment are the topmost priority in the efforts to dispose of these dangerous materials.” Warman added, “Later this month Craig is headed back to The Hague, Netherlands, to present an update on the Kentucky demilitarization effort to representatives of the 191-country party at the International Chemical Weapons Convention. I'm certain he will represent KEF and the citizens of Madison County very well”.
Media Contact: Deborah Payne or Heather Warman: (859) 986-0868
2015 marks the 25-year anniversary of the Kentucky Environmental Foundation, as well as some major milestones in our achievements. As many of you know, KEF was founded in 1990 by Madison County, KY residents as a way to organize the fight for the safe disposal of the world's most dangerous chemical weapons that were being stockpiled at the Bluegrass Army Depot. We fought and we won, succeeding in defeating incineration at four of eight chemical weapons sites, where safe, non-incineration disposal technologies were chosen instead. Its one of our greatest achievements to date. This year we honored that work by producing a documentary, funded entirely by supporters like you. NERVE: The Film premiered to hundreds of community members at EKU Center for the Arts, raising awareness about community action and the importance of social justice.
Since KEF's first initiative, we have gone on to many more fights - some victories, and some losses - but here on our 25th anniversary, we are ready to pick up another.
Today, the foremost imminent threat to Kentucky's environment is hydraulic fracking.
As regions and communities around our nation continue to push back against fracking, the threat of it draws closer and closer to the Bluegrass State. All over the country, people are acting too late - earthquakes, poisoned rivers, air pollution, and devastated communities are becoming the norm. We want to keep fracking out of Kentucky, and at KEF we have the resources to lead the charge on ending the threat of fracking in Kentucky.
With our collective experience, a deep understanding of local, state, and federal government and how to navigate it, good working relationships with our community leaders, and a broad knowledge of the history and science of fracking, we are ready to re-organize and refocus to stop fracking before it ever reaches our Kentucky communities.
Just like our defeat of the dangerous disposal of chemical weapons, stopping fracking needs the support of the whole community. We have the power to protect Kentucky's environment from fracking - we just need your support to stop fracking in its tracks and keep Kentucky frack free!
To continue our good work, we need the community's help, and support from our donors to raise
Today we're kicking off our Fall Fundraising Campaign - Show your commitment to a frack-free Kentucky with a monthly gift to the Kentucky Environmental Foundation.