Legislative committee has Bluegrass Pipeline meeting on Sept. 5
It took a while, but the Kentucky General Assembly is finally getting engaged in the Bluegrass Pipeline issue. On the heels of a Senate resolution calling for a Public Services Commission review of the proposal and for respect for property rights, a joint House and Senate committee is scheduled to hear from the pipeline developers, state regulators and an environmental attorney on Thursday. The meeting is 1 p.m. Sept. 5, in Capitol Annex Room 154.
Contact and encourage to attend the hearing:-- local emergency responders, and to come in uniform
-- landowners who were misled by pipeline land agents-- all affected and concerned friends and neighbors – we want to fill the room to overflowing
-- our local legislators (more about the role they can take later)
What to expect at the hearing
The committee staff says It's a full agenda – sometimes they will allow unscheduled speakers and sometimes they won't, it's up to the committee chair. Committees are usually open to testimony from the floor, but it's often based on whether there is time (though the company will likely be allowed to take as much time as they want – this hearing is for them). A couple of people have reached out to Sen. Jared Carpenter to let him know that people want to speak. Folks can sign up when they arrive at the hearing, and may also want to contact Sen. Carpenter or the committee staff ahead of time to say they want the opportunity to speak to the committee.
Even if there is no testimony from the floor, the chair as a courtesy will usually recognize other legislators in the room (not on the committee). If our legislators are there they could ask to be recognized, and bring with them to the witness table some of their constituents and ask that they be allowed to make a statement. So this is an additional role our legislators could take – to be prepared to ask for recognition and to introduce their constituents who are present.
To help make it possible for more testimony from the floor, we suggest keeping our statements to 3 minutes, that they be positive in tone and approach committee members as potential allies – we are asking them to help us address this important issue. It's a good idea to practice statements ahead of time.
There are no members on the committee who are strong environmental advocates, they will more likely be sympathetic to eminent domain issues (two members, Sen. John Schickel and Sen. Robin Webb were cosponsors of Sen. Higdon's resolution).
Before the hearing
Those of us who can would like to meet prior to the hearing. If you can come before by noon, please contact us. We will let you know where the meeting will be held.
We developed a list of folks who plan to speak or whom we would like to speak, and who will ask them. If you were not on the call, please confirm if you are coming prepared to speak or have heard from others that they plan to do so. This will help us coordinate as best we can.