Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Please Act Now - Kentuckians' Safety Remains At Risk

Please. Help keep us safe.

There’s a large project planned that will impact all of us here in central KY. Please help.

What can you do? Simply write up reasons why this pipeline project is controversial or worries you. Submit them online to the federal agency overseeing the project.

Below, we’ll give you background on the project, where to send your comments and more about why each and every one of us submitting comments is so important.
The current Kinder Morgan natural gas line has a "potential impact radius" of 450 feet to either side of the line (visualized in red). An NGL leak is even more dangerous. An NGL leak can asphyxiate anyone near it. A small spark, even heat, can ignite vapors and cause an explosion. Do you want this in your community? Here’s a map of the pipeline project that shows you exactly where it runs, including through Richmond, Danville and across the Kentucky river upstream of Lexington. 

Kentuckians have stopped a pipeline before.
Let’s do it again!

 
What is this project?
This project is officially entitled “Abandonment and Capacity Restoration Project.” The oil and gas company, Kinder Morgan, owns another company, Tennessee Gas Pipeline, LLC. ­­Kinder Morgan intends to eventually, through subsidiaries, carry natural gas liquids right through Kentucky (and several other states) in a 964 mile long pipeline known as the Tennessee Gas Pipeline.

What are the basics?
There’s a pipeline already running through central Kentucky that’s over 70 years old. It ships natural gas from the Gulf to the north. With all the fracking in the north, Kinder Morgan now wants to send its product in the opposite direction. At first, this may not seem like a big deal.

It is a big deal. What’s coming from the north through the same pipeline will be natural gas liquids (NGLs). These are heavier than natural gas and would put greater pressure on that old pipeline. Worse still, they do not dissipate when they leak and they are highly volatile, so they are much more dangerous than natural gas.

When are comments due?
December 2, 2016

What should I say?
Learn a bit about what this project involves then simply write about your concerns. Write about who could be harmed. Write about impacts to our next generations. Folks who support this project are also free to send in their comments.
 
Important legal terms:
Reference to “foreseeable action” and/or “related action” and the project having “significance” will make a big difference in FERC giving your comments more weight.

Why?

Because FERC will pay closer attention to comments that specifically note the conversion of the pipeline constitutes a foreseeable action, that has significance in terms of its potential devastating impacts to our land, water, and communities. Make clear that the abandonment project is a “related action” to the transportation of NGLs project. They are simply 2 parts of an overall plan.

Where do I send my comments?
You’ll submit them online to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Write up your thoughts, save them, go to site and add your comments in the form. (Look for the fourth yellow box on the right: eComment). Or, register and submit your comments in the format you want.

You need a docket number!
FERC may not read or process your comments if you don’t label them with the docket # for this project.

>> Include EA Docket # CP15-88-000 right at the top. <<

If you prefer paper and post, you can mail your comments to: Kimberly Bose, Secretary, FERC, 888 First Street NE, Room 1A, Washington DC 20426.

Read on to get all the details and understand this project better….

What are the main concerns?
If FERC doesn’t get enough comments from concerned people, it won’t take any future action and the pipeline project can move forward regardless of the risks.

This is why your comments matter.

That pipeline will begin with shipping 150,000 barrels of NGLs per day and can increase that amount to 450,000 per day. Leaks, spills and potential explosions like the recent one in Birmingham (that was a gas pipeline, not NGL) would be dangerous, if not catastrophic, should they happen in a populated area, or near a water source.

On Nov. 2, FERC issued an Environmental Assessment of the project and decided that assessment was sufficient to review the project’s potential impacts and risks. For a more thorough review, FERC would need to conduct the next step: an Environmental Impact Statement. Your comments can make that happen. Please write FERC.

Why does FERC think an Environmental Assessment alone is enough?
It doesn’t consider the conversion of the pipeline to run Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs) as a “foreseeable action.”

Yet, Kinder Morgan’s company, Tennessee Gas Pipeline, has planned this project for nearly two years. It’s pretty blatant there is a clear intent for use, so declining that it’s “foreseeable” is a problem. Page 10 of the Environmental Assessment even makes the plans clear.

It explains that, upon FERC approval of the pipeline plan, Kinder Morgan will sell the abandoned pipeline to Utica Marcellus Texas Pipeline LLC, which will then construct a project to transport NGLs in that pipeline from processing plants in Ohio down to the Gulf coast of Texas.

Furthermore, FERC is required by law – the National Environmental Policy Act – to consider significant impacts of this pipeline project. Here’s what the Act states:
“significance exists if it is reasonable to anticipate a cumulatively significant impact on the environment. Significance cannot be avoided by terming an action temporary or by breaking it down into small component parts.”

How can I do my own research?
For starters, here’s the Environmental Assessment document released by FERC on Nov. 2. (Click the top pdf link.)
Here’s text of the National Environmental Protection Act.
This is a story from WPFL that includes a nice explanation of the project, and the harms of natural gas liquids.
Here’s a map of the pipeline project that shows you exactly where it runs (including right through Richmond).

What should FERC do?
The next step, a full Environmental Impact Statement, must happen. The project is more than just “foreseeable.” It’s obvious. So, examination of all that could happen by shipping the heavy, dangerous NGLs needs considered.
The Tennessee Gas Pipeline runs through residential areas, across prime farmland, through water sources and sensitive karst (cave) terrain. Please submit your comments today, and please share this message. Our neighbors, friends and family members deserve to know what the government and this corporation are trying to do to us. 
What could I include in my comments?
 
  • Personalize your comments. Tell your story. Show FERC you really care. For example, if you live near the pipeline or your kids go to a school near the pipeline, say so. Heartfelt worries, if not fears, can sway FERC.
 
  • Point out the obvious: that the intent of Kinder Morgan to convert the pipeline to transport NGLs is quite clear. For over 70 years, the pipeline has delivered natural gas and Kinder Morgan intends to run a much more dangerous and heavy substance, Natural Gas Liquids, through the aging pipes.
 
  • State clearly that FERC has to follow the law. Note the project has significance, and is thus worthy of more detailed scrutiny. Explain how FERC must follow the mandates of the National Environmental Policy Act and consider the significant impacts of the pipeline project.
 
  • FERC should develop a full Environmental Impact Statement that includes thorough review of 1)  the environmental effects of the pipeline abandonment and 2) its subsequent use to transport NGLs.
 
  • The flow reversal, the change to NGLs and the conversion to service of this 70+ year-old pipeline are controversial actions that warrant thorough analysis. FERC approval of the project, an “abandonment in place” so it can then be sold and repurposed, is a prelude to any leaks, spills, or other damage, and is a “major federal action.”
 
  • The EIS should evaluate the risks posed to land and water resources (groundwater in particular) from NGL leaks and spills.
 
  • The EIS should evaluate impacts on public safety and public health associated with both catastrophic and smaller leaks and spills.
 
  • FERC should evaluate alternatives to approving abandonment of the pipeline in place, including mandating removal of the abandoned line.
 
  • FERC must analyze the reuse of the pipeline because its abandonment is a foreseeable and related action to transporting NGLs. (This one is a bit more complex, but important to include in your comments.)
  •  
    •  FERC claims that the pipeline’s use is not within its oversight because it doesn’t regulate what happens after the pipeline is abandoned. However, abandonment is a necessary step before repurposing it to transport NGLs. It directly relates to transport of NGLs.
    •  
    • The National Environmental Protection Act requires FERC to regulate effects of the project that are “direct, indirect, and cumulative.”  The effect of abandonment is to run NGLs and the effects of NGLs are of significant impact on safety, health and the environment, all of which can be either direct or indirectly related to the abandonment, and any harmful effects, taken together are cumulative damage.
  
  • The reuse of the pipeline is a “related action”, meaning the potential reuse of the pipeline for NGLs is directly related to if the abandonment of the pipeline is approved, and FERC must analyze it even if that use is not within FERC’s “jurisdiction” (FERC is currently claiming that it's jurisdiction ends with the abandonment of the pipeline). The reuse of the pipeline for NGL transport has effects that are “direct, indirect, and cumulative” and which NEPA requires be analyzed.

What happens with an NGL leak?
When Natural Gas Liquids leak, about 85% will turn into an odorless, colorless and highly flammable vapor once they hit the air, settling in valleys, creeks, rivers and other low points. Vapors can be ignited by heat, spark or flame, with an explosion potential from a small spark. The other 15% of an NGL leak remains a liquid and may contaminate the soil and water with chemicals like benzene, known to be a human carcinogen. Kinder Morgan has not disclosed information that will allow the public, county government, or first responders to understand the risks of carrying NGLs beneath our homes and to plan accordingly. A complete analysis in the form of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) would provide this needed information. Your comments are needed to make this happen. 

 
 
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Friday, November 18, 2016

Takk skal du ha Norway!

WASHINGTON, DC - A press release from Greenpeace Thursday says the largest bank in Norway, DNB, sold its assets in the Dakota Access pipeline. They say this decision was the result of 120,000 signatures from Greenpeace Norway and others to DNB, urging the bank and other financial institutions to pull finances from the project, reported by NBC on Fox.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

West Virginia Victory Against Eminent Domain Abuse

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Meade


I couldn't be more proud of Tom Fitzgerald's work and the efforts the many hundreds of Kentuckians who helped lay important legal precedents to protect our homes and water from corporate eminent domain abuse. This week, another important victory in West Virginia occurred.

The West Virginia Supreme Court cited the Kentucky Court of Appeals decision in Bluegrass Pipeline v. KURE for support for the idea that an interstate pipeline simply moving product by pipeline through a state and not serving in-state customers can't use state condemnation law (including the right to enter and survey property) because there is no "public use" by residents of the state.

The KURE decision limits the use of state condemnation law even more rigorously than the WV Court, since the power to condemn for pipelines in the Commonwealth is limited to public utilities, and is not available to private companies even if they are serving in-state customers.

Let's continue the good work so others across the country can build on these legal successes and stand firm to protect their homes and water. 

According to a report from Colorlines.com, "At least one water protector contesting the Dakota Access Pipeline embraced this win: Dallas Goldtooth, a campaign organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network, posted to Facebook on the decision yesterday with the words, “In other great news!”

****************************

The Appalachian Mountain Advocates PR statement for Tuesday 11/15 says:

A pipeline that does not serve a state's consumers, but simply passes through as it delivers gas elsewhere, cannot assert a right to survey private land without permission.

The West Virginia Supreme Court decision has importance for opponents of pipelines that need to survey and condemn easements as their gas is shipped to export or to distant chemical factories.

West Virginia property owners won an important case at the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals on Tuesday when that Court sided with Appalachian Mountain Advocates attorneys, ruling that the Mountain Valley Pipeline cannot survey for its proposed natural gas pipeline without landowner permission. The Court held that such a survey would constitute an illegal “private taking for private use,” because the proposed pipeline would not benefit West Virginians.
The Supreme Court’s ruling came in a case brought by Appalachian Mountain Advocates on behalf of Bryan and Doris McCurdy. Mountain Valley Pipeline threatened to sue the McCurdys after they refused to allow the pipeline company to survey their homeplace in Monroe County, West Virginia. Appalachian Mountain Advocates helped the McCurdys sue Mountain Valley Pipeline first to keep the company from trespassing on their property. They argued that state law prohibits the pipeline company from setting foot on McCurdy’s property without their permission unless the pipeline company first showed that its pipeline would be for public use.
Mountain Valley Pipeline could not make that showing because no West Virginians will use the gas transported through the pipeline.
Appalachian Mountain Advocates represented the McCurdys when they won in the trial court in 2015. The pipeline company later appealed this decision to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. On November 15, 2016, the West Virginia Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s ruling, and held that the Mountain Valley Pipeline is not for public use by West Virginians.
“This is a great day for private property rights in West Virginia,” said Derek Teaney, Senior Attorney with Appalachian Mountain Advocates, who represented the McCurdys in their case against Mountain Valley Pipeline. “This ruling vindicates the rights of landowners in the path of this ill-advised pipeline and shows that private companies cannot bully West Virginians into allowing them onto their property without their permission.”
The Mountain Valley Pipeline would transport fracked natural gas over 300 miles from northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia to connect to the Transco Pipeline, a mega-pipeline that ships gas to burn in the Southeast. The pipeline would be 42 inches in diameter (by comparison, Keystone XL would have been just 36 inches). Contact: Derek Teaney, Senior Attorney, 304.793.9007, dteaney@appalmad.org




Monday, October 31, 2016

Stand With Standing Rock

  Isn't it time that we, as a nation, honored our treaties with Native Americans?

 Although our page is not regularly updated, we felt the need to provide you with information on how you can help support the Native Americans in defending their land from the Dakota Pipeline. In a situation largely ignored by media, we are receiving disturbing reports of Native Americans and their supporters being harassed, intimidated, and even assaulted as they attempt to protect land that is rightfully theirs. Their movement espouses peaceful, persistent If you would like to help, here are several ways to do it:

How to Help Protect Standing Rock

1. Call for the Army Corps of Engineers' Permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline to be Rescinded

2.  Support the Sacred Stone Camp

3.  Tell the executives of Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. to stop building the pipeline.

4.  Start or join events in your area at: 

https://actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/nodapl-solidarity-week-of-action?zipcode=&country=US

Read. Talk. Post. Tweet.  Ask others to join in advocating that the Dakota Access Pipeline be stopped, Standing Rock Sioux be heard, and our treaties be honored. Encourage civic organizations and faith-based groups to support the cause as well.

Friday, June 10, 2016

We're Moving!

Hello to all of our frequent visitors. I want to thank all of you for regularly visiting our site and also for your support in our movement! We appreciate you more than we can ever say.  Please note, that soon, this domain name stopbluegrasspipeline.us will expire, and I have decided not to renew it.  However, I will keep this page up on Blogspot.com's free pages for your future reference.  You will be able to visit the page at stopbluegrasspipeline.blogspot.com, where it will reside for a virtual eternity.  Please also feel free to visit our page on Facebook entitled Bluegrass Pipeline Defeated. It will remain on Facebook as a historical resource for anyone curious about the pipeline and how we worked together to stop it. You can visit the Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/OccupyBluegrassPipeline/.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sellus Wilder Challenges for Kentucky Senate Seat


If you've had the opportunity to see the film, The End of the Line, you are doubtlessly familiar with it's producer, Sellus Wilder. While fighting to protect Kentuckians from corporate abuse of eminent domain, many of us put in hundreds of hours of work attending meetings, presenting to citizens' groups and government officials across the state. Sellus was one of those people. At practically every meeting or event I attended, he was there working to film our efforts. Beyond that, he spend many hours working to review and edit the film. He then went on a major road trip to share the story of the pipeline across Kentucky and in other states as well.

A passionate supporter of environmental causes, Sellus believes in the cause and carried forth the message. We here at stopbluegrasspipeline.us received several emails from many of you saying that you gained hope for your own battles by seeing our story in film.

Sellus is now running for Senate in Kentucky and hopes to challenge Rand Paul for his seat in the upcoming elections. To learn more about Sellus's candidacy, check out his website.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Kentuckians Win Case Against Bluegrass Pipeline's Eminent Domain Claims

FRANKFORT - Landowners who had opposed efforts to put a natural gas liquids pipeline across 13 Kentucky counties were victorious Thursday in the Kentucky Supreme Court.

The state’s highest court decided not to review a May 2015 ruling from the Kentucky Court of Appeals that said Bluegrass Pipeline LLC did not have the power of eminent domain because it was not a utility regulated by the state Public Service Commission.

Since the Supreme Court decided not to review the appeal, the appellate court’s decision stands, said Tom FitzGerald, attorney for Kentuckians United to Restrain Eminent Domain.

Many citizens opposed the project, saying the flammable liquids posed environmental and safety concerns. In 2014, the two companies proposing to build Bluegrass Pipeline halted the project and suspended investment because they said it had not received the necessary customer commitments to move forward.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article59853106.html#storylink=cpy

Sellus Wilder's End of the Line Chronicles the Bluegrass Pipeline Story

FRANKFORT — Filmmaker Sellus Wilder hopes audiences will take to heart the message of his new documentary about citizen opposition to the Bluegrass Pipeline in 2013-14.

"Grassroots movements can win fights against multi-billion-dollar corporations," Wilder said. "The people can win the seemingly unwinnable fight."

The 90-minute film, The End of the Line, premieres Saturday at an invitation-only screening at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/entertainment/movies-news-reviews/article44601495.html#storylink=cpy

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Bluegrass Pipeline Update

Quite a few of you have written wanting to know the latest on the Bluegrass Pipeline. Several have asked why I'm no longer updating this page. To address your first question, we are so appreciative of everyone who helped us get our bill through Kentucky's House of Representatives. Words cannot express our appreciation for the hundreds of citizens, who supported us, the organizations, and the elected officials on both sides of the political fence who joined in to uphold the rights of Kentuckians over corporations. Democrats like James Kay, Jullian Carroll and Lt. Gubernatorial candidate Sannie Overly, John Tilley, and Republicans Jimmy Higdon, and David Floyd collectively worked many hours to support the rights of Kentucky citizens over private corporations not in public service.

What may not be widely known is that while our bill was being informally discussed by senate members, it was suggested that we could get it called for a vote if we compromised. Specifically, if we were to allow language to be added that would give eminent domain rights for gas gathering lines (primarily in eastern and western parts of the state) we could get the bill voted on and possibly even passed.  Those of us involved in that discussion realized immediately that if we agreed to this compromise, we would be throwing western Kentucky farmers and eastern Kentucky families under the legislative bus to save ourselves. That was a compromise we were not willing to make.

At that point, our group discussed the situation with our legal counsel and decided formally that it was time to take the matter to the court system in search for justice for all Kentuckians. Around February and March of 2014, a group of home owners and farmers directly affected by the pipeline, with the assistance of attorney Tom Fitzgerald of the Kentucky Resources Council, formed a non-profit organization to take legal action against the Bluegrass Pipeline by filing suit in Frankfort.

In March of 2014, Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd granted a summary judgment in favor of our group, Kentuckians United to Restrain Eminent Domain (KURED).  The judge stated that Bluegrass Pipeline cannot even suggest to landowners that it has eminent domain power. "Landowners ... are entitled to know that the law does not support Bluegrass' assertion of the power of eminent domain." 

Shortly thereafter, the Bluegrass Pipeline announced that the project is "ahead of its time" and suspended capital spending due to "an insufficient level of firm customer commitments to ship products on the pipeline." Several in our group are of the opinion that the court's decision impacted the markets and the company's decision.

Bluegrass Pipeline representatives had repeatedly stated in public forums that they did not want to use eminent domain against Kentuckians. However, in July of 2014, attorneys representing Bluegrass Pipeline appealed Judge Phillip Shepherd's decision, clearly hoping to win the right to do so.

On May 22, 2015, the Kentucky Court of Appeals affirmed the Franklin County Circuit Court decision that Bluegrass Pipeline LLC did not have the power of eminent domain, since it was not a utility regulated by the Public Service Commission (PSC). The unanimous 3-0 decision will impact not only the Bluegrass and Kinder-Morgan "repurposing" projects, but will also prevent Kentucky oil and gas producers from using the threat of eminent domain to site gathering lines and wells. Only the regulated natural gas utilities can invoke the power under the court's decision. Many thanks to Tom FitzGerald and KURED, and all the citizens, non-profit groups, and elected officials who have stood up for our rights!

We do not yet know where this legal battle will end, but through the generous support of the Kentucky Resources Council and its supporters, we are prepared to take the matter all the way to the US Supreme Court if necessary.

Now, that was a long answer to a seemingly simple question. The second question, why I am no longer updating this page.... Although I'm not regularly here providing information, rest assured, I am actively working on this and related issues. Many of our group have moved their focus to another pipeline project, and you can keep up with their activities on the Facebook community page.

I can't begin to count the hours I put into the Bluegrass Pipeline issue. Don't get me wrong. I would do it all again in a heartbeat, and I will stay involved in the legal battle until the issue is resolved. What I came to realize in this process, however, is that there will always be another pipeline or another fracking operation, or some other such thing coming down the pike. This pipeline battle taught me that as long as there are individuals and families among us who are economically vulnerable, we will have vulnerabilities in our communities as a whole.  Communities that do not work together to ensure sustainability and economic resilience of its members will always be vulnerable to this sort of exploitation. For that reason, I have begun working with a group of other like-minded women in our area to promote the legalization of industrial hemp.

Why hemp? (You might ask....) Industrial hemp, not to be confused with marijuana, is a versatile agricultural crop that was once Kentucky's largest agribusiness.  It's true!   Hemp can be used for many things ranging from medicinal oils to fiber for building and clothing to biofuels and plant-based plastic. With many Kentucky farmers still reeling from the collapse of tobacco, hemp is an opportunity to restore land values and promote financial stability in many parts of the state. It is a movement beyond poetic justice when one considers that hemp has the potential to substantially reduce our dependence on fossil fuels AND stimulate the economy. We already know that coal and gas resources in the state are dwindling to the point that extreme measures such as fracking are the only way to extract them. Why not invest in infrastructure that supports a green, sustainable, renewable alternative like hemp? Want to get involved or just keep up with the latest hemp news in Kentucky? Join the growing group of followers of the North Woodford Industrial Hemp Initiative page on Facebook.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

New "Fast-track" LNG Export Rules - It Ain't About U.S.

First off, keep in mind that Exxon's total US income tax bill - federal, state and local for 2009 was ($46,000,000) That's right, Exxon ended up 2009 with essentially a tax refund of $46 million for income taxes.  It all is explained in this CNN article.  Left of center publication, Mother Jones, has its own take on Exxon's tax position. 
 
And we learn here that Exxon is AGAIN a big winner with these new LNG export rules as described below.  

Excerpt:
"....Houston-based Cheniere Energy and Exxon are two big winners under the new rules.
Cheniere will add liquefaction capacity to its Sabine Pass terminal that is now being built in Louisiana.
The expansion proposal already received the required Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) permits. The proposal was facing up to a two year wait for its Energy Department review, Fuel Fix said.
The new regulations mean that the project is now ready for final action by the Energy Department.
Exxon Mobil’s Golden Pass project in southeast Texas is also on the fast track for approval. The project was far into its FERC review but behind other projects in the Energy Department’s line....."

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s plan for shaking up the way it vets proposals to export natural gas had the curious effect of winning praise from both a fierce critic and a fan of those foreign sales.
The Energy Department was able to unite export foe Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and advocate Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., by devising a new approach that appears to accelerate the review process overall, even though it extends the time benefits to just a few well-heeled players.  Read more.

Foreign Interests Fueling the Attack on Kentucky Property Rights

In this article from the US Energy Information Administration, we find data on how our country's natural gas serves a small, but growing, portion of China’s total energy demand. 

Why is this relevant to those of us fighting pipelines through Kentucky?  It simply shows how foreign demand is adding to the push for natural gas development in the US.  And why we have our work cut-out for us in this "crossroads" state, Kentucky.  This is problematic for a number of reasons:

1.  Increased demand abroad actually weakens US energy independence.
2.  The influx of foreign dollars could easily increase the lobbying budgets of gas companies.
3.  Increased lobbying increases the likelihood that some of "our" government officials --yes, the ones we support through our taxes and votes--may support legislation making it easier for fossil fuel industries seize your property rights through eminent domain abuse.


Excerpt::

"....In 2013, China imported nearly 1.8 Tcf of LNG (trillion cubic feet) and pipeline gas to fill the growing gap between supply and demand. Imported natural gas met 32% of China's demand in 2013, up from 2% in 2006. China is swiftly developing its LNG import capacity in the urban coastal areas and currently has 10 major regasification terminals with 1.7 Tcf/y of capacity. In 2012, China rose to become the third-largest LNG importer in the world, after Japan and South Korea, and in 2013, the country imported 870 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of LNG. Estimates for the first half of 2014 show LNG imports growing at faster levels than in previous years....."

This growing international demand is another reason why it appears that we are stuck with the dangers of fracking for awhile.  Unless, of course, courageous political leaders step forward and appropriately regulate the industry. 
As an aside, here is one thing that I think needs to be addressed in our national discussion about energy options.  Excerpt from the linked article above:

"...China relies heavily on domestic coal (and to a lesser extent oil) to meet rising energy consumption. To reduce air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions, the Chinese government is attempting to replace some of the country's coal and oil use with natural gas...."

Is replacing coal and oil with natural gas as an energy source really the panacea that some claim?  Here is a headline and article from the Guardian from last year that makes this issue less clear than the USEIA implies:

Methane leaks could negate climate benefits of US natural gas boom: report

Reduction in carbon emissions triggered by America's shift from coal to gas is being offset by a sharp rise in methane
So, what IS the answer?  Two words: conservation and renewables.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

From the "What Are They Thinking?" Files...

Cheryl LaFleur appointed head of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

The president's first choice, a renewable energy advocate, withdrew his name from consideration because of stalled confirmation. The second choice, a gas and electric industry insider, had NO trouble getting confirmed. Read on....

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Guarded Optimism Surrounds the Quiet Demise of the Bluegrass Pipeline

Guarded optimism surrounds a July 30, 2014 BusinessWire press release from the Williams Company that classifies the Bluegrass Pipeline as "abandoned." 


But like a dormant volcano, the fracking industry and its infrastructure support are not likely to go away anytime soon; especially with the government using our tax dollars and public resources to promote the all-powerful financial behemoth that controls much of our country's decision-making.

The Williams Company's press release comes on the heels of a recent announcement from the White House of a new "opportunity" in the form of private funding and investment in so-called "rural-infrastructure."

"WASHINGTON - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and CoBank CEO Robert Engel are announcing $10 billion in private funding to invest in rural infrastructure projects across the country.

The announcement is a part of a two-day "Rural Opportunity Investment Conference" that began Wednesday in Washington, D.C., which aims to bring together investment firms, government officials, and business leaders to promote investment in rural communities. Vilsack said the $10 billion fund will not only provide jobs to rural areas, but it will also be a catalyst for further private investments in infrastructure projects nation-wide."  Read more from CBS news.

As we are aware, the devil is often in the details, and on such details, the CBS article is largely silent. Now would be a very good time for farmers to get on board with the decision-making in this process to ensure that whatever infrastructure is supported is sustainable, both economically and environmentally and that it promotes long-term benefits for citizens.






Friday, July 25, 2014

Bluegrass Pipeline Teach-In Tomorrow at the Kentucky Heartwood Festival

Bluegrass Pipeline Teach In
3:00 - 4:00 pm in the lower festival area

Attendees for this event do not have to pay entry fee to the festival if they are attending this event only.  This meeting is specifically designed for Millville area residents and others who want to learn more about the natural gas liquids pipeline proposed to run through this community.  Come find out what the company’s latest announcement means and what to expect with this pipeline.  FYI, if you come to the festival only for the pipeline meeting, you do not have to pay the entry fee.  For more information, check out the Heartwood Festival website.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

First Be Aware, then Be Angry, and then Be Active

The booklet Shalefield Stories is a compilation of personal testimonies of Americans trying to survive amid the fracking industry's mad dash for cash.  Their stories are raw and painful.  When you read it, you'll be angry.  We hope their stories will inspire you to act by contacting representatives at all levels and expressing your concerns.  The home you save may be your own.  Download a copy of Shalefield Stories. Learn more about Friends of the Harmed.