Bluegrass Pipeline Project

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

A proposed underground pipeline that would transport flammable natural gas liquids through Kentucky has generated many questions among citizens along the planned route.

Two companies partnering on the project say the new pipeline would connect oil shale drilling areas of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia to processing and storage facilities along the Gulf Coast. The so-called Bluegrass Pipeline would run more than 150 miles through 13 north-central Kentucky counties before joining an existing pipeline near Hardinsburg.

WEKU-FM will explore the proposal tomorrow morning at 11 on Eastern Standard with host John Hingsbergen. Eastern Standard is WEKU’s weekly public affairs program discussing topics of concern to central and southeastern Kentucky. Much like KET’s Kentucky Tonight, listeners can call with questions or comments during the show. WEKU’s number is 800-621-8890. You can also email them at wekueasternstandard@gmail.com, or post your questions on Facebook and Twitter.

A number of private citizens, city and county governments, and landowners are opposed to the pipeline. They’re not satisfied with answers they’ve received from the Williams Company and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners about the risk of accidents, damage to property and the environment, and injury to humans and animals. The companies have pledged to closely review the potential route as well as any safety and environmental concerns landowners have about the project.

One of the key questions in the pipeline debate is the issue of eminent domain. Last week, Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Len Peters told a panel of state lawmakers that developers have no authority to use eminent domain to acquire land for the pipeline route. Others disagree and the issue remains unresolved.

The pipeline project will also be the focus of the next Kentucky Tonight. Two of our guests will be environmental lawyer Tom Fitzgerald of the Kentucky Resources Council, who is opposed to the project, and Andrew McNeil of the Kentucky Oil and Gas Association, who supports the plan. The show will air Monday at 8 p.m. on KET. You can hear a replay of the program on our broadcast partner WEKU, Tuesday at 11 a.m.

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