Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Call the Governor NOW!

Here's why.  The governor should be working for the people of Kentucky, and the "hands-off" attitude of the current administration that is illustrated by their official response to our concerns is unacceptable (see letter below).  Just because no current laws exist to protect citizens from exploitation of a private company doesn't mean the legislature can't make some at their special session in August.  Isn't that why we have a legislature that is supported by taxpayers? Call Steve Beshear's office today at:
502-564-2611 and state:

Governor Beshear, add this to the call in August, 2013 for the Special Session of the General Assembly: 

  • Amend KRS 278.704 through 278.712 to include "natural gas liquids pipelines" in the requirements for advance scrutiny for public safety and environmental standards for review and approval of NGL pipelines
  • Liimit eminent domain powers to utility-owned pipelines (this is privately owned non-utility)  

In our opinion, this request will not require a tremendous amount of work on the part of the General Assembly--just some backbone. Failure of the governor to act on this request would place any home or land owner in Kentucky at-risk for corporate abuse through misuse of eminent domain.

When asked for help by a number of Kentuckians, the governor's office responded:

Dear Ms. "Jones":

Governor Beshear asked that I respond to your recent call concerning the Bluegrass Pipeline. As Secretary of the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, I appreciate that you have concerns about a pipeline project. However, the agencies that serve in our Cabinet have little, if any, oversight of an interstate project such as this.

There are only a few areas in which Kentucky government can intercede, and nearly all of them deal with environmental concerns or permit requirements that would come into play should actions by the Williams Company trigger a need for those permits. Our agencies will certainly keep close tabs on this project as it moves forward, making certain any impact on the environment is minimal and that any pollution issues, be they air, water, or waste, are controlled and mitigated.

The issue of eminent domain whereby the company and government can force property owners to allow access for the construction of the pipeline is one that isn’t clear. Our legal staff has researched the question, but has found no legal precedent for a project such as this. In summary, state government has little to no authority to stop this project. However, we will be closely monitoring this as it moves forward to ensure protection of property owners and the environment. Thank you for your letter.

Sincerely yours,

Leonard K. Peters, Secretary
Energy and Environment Cabinet
Call the governor's office, fax him, and message him on Facebook to let him know this is not an acceptable response. The government is supposed to work for its citizens and not corporations.