Thursday, September 26, 2013

SCOTT COUNTY PUBLIC FORUM REGARDING THE BLUEGRASS PIPELINE

DATE: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
TIME: 6:30 P.M.
LOCATION: SCOTT COUNTY COOP EXTENSION BUILDING, 1130 CINCINNATI ROAD, GEORGETOWN, KY 40324
FORMAT: Q&A

Friday, September 20, 2013

Hardin County Meeting October 3, 2013

A meeting has been scheduled on the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline at the Hardin County library on October 3rd, 2013 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Please save the date to your calendar! Topics include but are not limited to:
• The proposed Kentucky route of the NGL line
• The distinction between natural gas and NGLS (natural gas liquids)
• The NGL company’s talk of eminent domain
• Granting and rescinding survey permission
• Public safety
• Environmental impact
Please contact us if you would like to help organize the meeting, or if there are any topics you would like covered that are not listed above. Please share this post to help spread the word!

Daily Inspiration - Boardwalk Spent Less on Pipeline Maintenance Per Mile Than Others in 2012

Operator Miles of Pipeline Maintenance Capex, 2012 (in millions) Maintenance Capex, 2012, Per Mile
Boardwalk Pipeline Partners 14,410 $79.8 $5,538
El Paso Pipeline Partners 12,900 $91* $7,054*
Enbridge Energy Partners (NYSE: EEP  ) 17,900 $123.8 $6,916
Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE: EPD  ) 50,000 $365.8 $7,316
Magellan Midstream Partners 9,600 $64.4 $6,708
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (NYSE: KMP  ) 46,000 $285 $6,196

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Owen County Joins Pipeline Opposition!

Joining a number of counties across Kentucky, the Owen County Fiscal Court recently passed a resolution opposing the controversial Bluegrass Pipeline project.

The resolution cites safety concerns such as accidents at natural-gas liquids facilities, pipeline ruptures and environmental concerns. Owen County Judge-executive Carolyn Keith said she is concerned that landowners who could become involved aren’t getting the whole truth.


To date, Pendleton, Scott, Woodford, Franklin, Marion, Shelby, Nelson, Owen, Anderson, and Washington Counties, and the City of Springfield have passed formal resolutions against the pipeline.   Senator Jimmy Higdon, and the co-sponsors of the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline resolution, Senators Julian Carroll, (Anderson, Fayette, Woodford, Franklin Co), Tom Buford (Boyle, Fayette, Garrard, Jessamine Cos), Perry Clark (Jefferson Co), Paul Hornback (Bullitt, Shelby, Spencer Cos), John Schickel (Boone, Gallatin, Kenton Cos) Robin Webb (Bracken, Carter, Greenup, Lewis, Mason, Robertson Co), Carroll Gibson (Breckinridge, Grayson, Hancock, Hart, Larue, Meade Dennis Parrett ( Hardin, Jefferson Co), the Kentucky State Senate, Representative James Kay, former Governor Brereton Jones, and over 6000 signers of our petition agree that the state should take action to clarify Kentucky's eminent domain laws to specifically exclude non-utilities.  Many of these individuals also strongly insist that the pipeline should have regulatory oversight during planning, construction, and operation.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Bluegrass Pipeline Discussion on KET's Kentucky Tonight

KET: Monday, September 16 at 8:00 pm EDT
Bluegrass Pipeline Project: Bill and his guests discuss the Bluegrass Pipeline Project. 
Scheduled guests: Bill Lawson, director of corporate development for Williams; Tom FitzGerald, director of the Kentucky Resources Council;
Andrew McNeill, executive director of the Kentucky Oil & Gas Association; and Brad Slutskin, a Versailles lawyer.


Please submit Questions in advance or during the show can be submitted to:

via email: kytonight@ket.org (include first and last name and town or county)
via online contact form: http://www.ket.org/cgi-local/fw_kytonight.exe/db/ket/dmps/Programs?id=KYTO&template=contact

Sometimes they have call in questions, and they will give the number during the show. Bill is just as likely to ask viewer questions submitted before or during the show by email.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Exxon Charged with Illegal Dumping in Pennsylvania

Sign a Petition - Tell Gov. Beshear to Protect Kentuckians' Property Rights and Regulate Dangerous NGL Pipelines

It is time to act!  There are Two Things You Can Do! 

1.  Please sign one of our petitions asking Governor Beshear to call a Special Session of the General Assembly to protect Kentuckians from corporate eminent domain abuse and regulate dangerous NGL Pipelines.  

Sign Today!  Please Share the Petition with all Your Contacts!

2.  Call the Governor’s Office at  502-564-2611  and leave a message asking that “the Governor call a special session to address the regulation of the siting of natural gas liquids pipelines and to clearly limit eminent domain powers to utility-owned pipelines.” 

Call, write, or email your State Senator and State Representative at 502-564-8100  and ask them “to contact the Governor, requesting that he call a special session to address the regulation of the siting of natural gas liquids pipelines and limiting eminent domain powers to utility-owned pipelines.”  Also ask your State Senator and State Representative to “make these issues a priority for action in the 2014 General Assembly Regular Session, if the Governor won’t act sooner.”
 
If you want to email your state Senator or state Representative, or you are unsure who represents you, go to the Legislative Research Commission website at www.lrc.ky.gov and click on “Who’s My Legislator.”
 
Questions and Answers:
  • Why are there four petition sites? Some of you asked for options because of the political affiliations of some of the petition sites.  We feel that our issues are cross-platform and non-partisan, and we wish to respect the opinions and views of everyone involved.
  • Are the petitions the same?  Yes, they are the same.
  • Should I sign more than one?  No.  They are the same.
  • I signed the last petition, do I need to sign this new one?  Yes, please do sign the new petition.  Although the issues are the same, we are asking for a new special session, which is an additional request.
  • Why do I need to sign the petition and call as well?  We are asking you to sign the petition to ensure there is an accurate, independent count of individuals who support Kentuckians' rights.  Having a petition helps us accomplish that goal. Also, for those of you who cannot make the call, a petition is an alternative way for your to express your concerns.  We would like for you to make phone calls, send emails, and send letters if possible because your elected officials need to hear from you personally.  Direct contact from constituents helps to emphasize the real impact of this issue.  Personal stories and concerns make a difference!
 

Call to Action - Call (and Keep Calling) Governor Beshear to Request a Special Session



Your Help Is Needed – Ask the Governor And General Assembly To Close The Gap On Oversight Of The Routing And Impacts Of Natural Gas Liquids Pipelines[1] And To Limit Eminent Domain Powers To Regulated Utilities

The Problem

Under current federal and Kentucky law, there is no comprehensive governmental review of the impacts of any proposed natural gas liquids pipeline on public health and safety, land, air and water resources, and local communities in Kentucky.

What’s worse, under current Kentucky law, a private natural gas liquids pipeline company shipping natural gas liquids through the state, might try to condemn other people’s property even though that pipeline company is not regulated as a public utility by Kentucky and is not serving Kentuckians.

The proponents of the Bluegrass Pipeline are moving forward rapidly with their project, and it is critical that the General Assembly put in place a review process for protecting Kentuckians from the adverse effects of new and “repurposed” natural gas liquids pipelines, and to limit the power of eminent domain to regulated utilities.  Only the Governor can call a special legislative session between now and when the General Assembly meets in regular session in January. Time is of the essence!

The Solution – What You Can Do To Help Fix The Problem!

Call the Governor’s Office at 502-564-2611 and leave a message asking that “the Governor call a special session to address the regulation of the siting of natural gas liquids pipelines and to clearly limit eminent domain powers to utility-owned pipelines.”

Call, write, or email your State Senator and State Representative at 502-564-8100 and ask them “to contact the Governor, requesting that he call a special session to address the regulation of the siting of natural gas liquids pipelines and limiting eminent domain powers to utility-owned pipelines.”  Also ask your State Senator and State Representative to “make these issues a priority for action in the 2014 General Assembly Regular Session, if the Governor won’t act sooner.”

If you want to email your state Senator or state Representative, or you are unsure who represents you, go to the Legislative Research Commission website at www.lrc.ky.gov and click on “Who’s My Legislator.”

The Background

The proposed “Bluegrass Pipeline” project, a joint venture of Williams Co. and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, is intended to transport mixed “Natural Gas Liquids” from the areas where natural gas is being produced from the Marcellus and Utica shale formations in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, to the Gulf region for further processing and use.  The project highlights a major gap in the oversight of the location, routing, and health, safety, and environmental impacts of interstate pipelines transporting these flammable, combustible petroleum liquids.

What are “Natural Gas Liquids?”

Natural gas liquids are petroleum hydrocarbons extracted during natural gas production, including ethane, propane, normal butane, isobutane and natural gasoline.  Various NGLs are used as raw materials by the petrochemical industry, as feedstocks by refiners in the production of motor gasoline, and as fuel by industrial and residential users.   Ethane is a “highly flammable gas and a dangerous fire hazard,” and propane, butane, and isobutane are flammable gases. Benzene is a known human carcinogen, for which there is no “safe” level of exposure.

NGL Pipelines fall into a category of low-occurrence, but high-hazard risks.  When they occur, pipeline ruptures often have catastrophic consequences.  Accidental pipeline releases can result from a variety of causes, including natural disasters, excavation and other outside force damage, internal and external corrosion, mechanical failure, and operator error.  Leaks from NGL pipelines have contaminated soil and groundwater.

Why Isn’t the Routing of Natural Gas Liquids Pipelines Regulated?

Interstate pipeline transportation of the methane fraction of produced natural gas is regulated under the Natural Gas Act.  The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requires that any new pipeline first receive a “Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity,” and the National Environmental Policy Act requires that the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of such a pipeline be evaluated and the consequences mitigated.  The public has multiple opportunities to be heard in conjunction with the application, and in the environmental review process.

There is no comparable FERC jurisdiction over the construction, siting, or environmental consequences of a natural gas liquids pipeline, even though the natural gas liquids are produced from the same wells as the methane.  Natural Gas Liquids are instead regulated under the Interstate Commerce Act, which does not provide a process for advance government review of the routing and necessity for a NGL pipeline.  FERC jurisdiction is limited to review and approval of the tariffs (rates and terms under which the pipeline will transport NGLs).

The Kentucky Public Service Commission has indicated that it does not have jurisdiction to require that a proposed NGL pipeline apply for a “Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity.”

The standards for physical construction of NGL pipelines are established under the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) within the U.S. Department of Transportation, but there is no permitting process.  The PHMSA is severely understaffed, and admit that they don’t have much power to punish noncompliance with their standards.

Finally, in those Kentucky counties with zoning and planning, few if any of the zoning ordinances have provisions regarding the siting of natural gas liquids or other pipelines.

Do NGL Pipeline Companies have the right to condemn lands in Kentucky?

Kentucky law is unclear on this, and while we believe that they do not have the power of eminent domain, landowners could be subject to lawsuits claiming that they have the power of condemnation, and could have to spend money defending against the company’s effort to take their land.

The power to condemn land should be limited to Kentucky-regulated public utilities providing services to Kentuckians, and not to a private interstate pipeline shipping hazardous liquids from other states through Kentucky.

The Solution:  Amend Kentucky Law To Require A Construction Certificate For Any NGL Pipelines, and Limit The Right To Condemn Lands For Pipelines To Kentucky Public Utilities

In response to the lack of state oversight of the siting of “merchant power plants” that were not regulated by the Public Service Commission since they proposed to sell electricity in the wholesale marketplace, the General Assembly created the “Kentucky State Board on Electric Generation And Transmission Siting” in 2002, and required that merchant electric power plants, non-regulated electric transmission lines, and, after a 2012 amendment, pipelines transporting carbon dioxide, obtain a “construction certificate” from the Board after consideration of and mitigation of adverse impacts.

A process should be developed by the General Assembly to require a comprehensive environmental and public safety review of proposed hazardous liquids pipelines such as the Bluegrass Pipeline.

Regarding condemnation, state law should be clarified so that only those pipelines that are owned by companies regulated as “public utilities” in the Commonwealth have the power to take other people’s property.

In order to protect the landowners and communities in the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline corridor, and to assure that all proposed NGL pipelines in the expanding shale gas marketplace are properly scrutinized, this issue should be addressed by the Governor in a special session this fall.

Please make the call today.  The Governor is mistaken in saying “there’s time to deal with this in the regular session” because Williams Co. has indicated they may begin seeking easements during September, 2013. 


[1]  This handout was prepared by Tom FitzGerald, Director, Kentucky Resources Council, Inc.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Bluegrass Pipeline and Fracking Industry Are All About US Energy Independence?

We have long suggested that the Bluegrass Pipeline is more about exporting products, keeping prices up in the U.S., and increasing demand abroad than it is about promoting "energy independence"  for our country.  It is about increased profits for corporations at the expense of common citizens' land rights, safety, health, and water supplies.  The following article demonstrates the real agenda of the industry.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has granted the first ever LNG export permit license to Dominion Resources, Inc. to export gas obtained from the controversial hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") process in the Marcellus Shale basin.  

It's the fourth ever export terminal approved by the DOE, with the three others along the Gulf Coast: Cheniere's Sabine Pass LNG, Freeport LNG (50-percent owned by ConocoPhillips) and Lake Charles Exports, LLC. 

Located in Lusby, Maryland, the Dominion Cove Point LNG terminal will be a key regional hub to take gas fracked from one of the most prolific shale basins in the world - the Marcellus - and ship it to global markets, with shale gas exports a key geopolitical bargaining chip with Russia, the biggest producer of conventional gas in the world.


Read the article:  http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/09/11/breaking-1st-ever-marcellus-shale-fracked-gas-export-permit-approved-doe

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

WEKU's EasternStandard to Air Bluegrass Pipeline Feature Thursday at 11:00 am - Repeated Sunday at 6:00 pm

WEKU FM 88.9 's weekly public affairs program, EasternStandard discusses topics and concerns of Central and Southeastern Kentucky, hosted by John Hingsbergen. This week's program - September 12, 2013 - The Bluegrass Pipeline: Boon for the Commonwealth or Bad Idea?  The call-in program's guests will include:


The program's producers aim to detail the positives and negatives of the proposed pipeline.  Listeners can call in to comment or ask questions during the show at 1-800-621-8890.


You can also email your comments to wekueasternstandard@gmail.com, or post your comments and questions on Facebook at:  https://www.facebook.com/WEKU88.9 and via Twitter at:  https://twitter.com/wekuest.

Find WEKU radio in your area:
    88.9 Richmond/Lexington
    106.7 Frankfort
    90.9 Hazard
    88.5 Corbin
    96.3 Harlan
    96.9 Barbourville
    102.5 Middlesboro
    95.1 Pikeville


Classic 102.1 - WKYL
    102.1 Lawrenceburg/greater Lexington


Listen online:
*Use .pls streams for iTunes, Quicktime, Real Player, and WinAmp
*Use .m3u stream for Windows Media Player and Real Player


Listen on your iPhone:
  • Download the WEKU app with both WEKU and Classic 102.1 streams
  • Download the EKU app. Listen to WEKU and browse EKU information.

Springfield Passes Pipeline Resolution!


The Bluegrass Pipeline reps recently contacted the City of Springfield about running the line across an old landfill owned by the city on Springfield-E-town Road.
At the regular City Council meeting last evening, not only did the City Council unanimously refuse permission for the pipeline crossing, but they also unanimously authorized a resolution against the pipeline in Washington County.
Special thanks to City Administrator Laurie Smith, Mayor Cecconi, the City Staff, and all the Council!  Go Springfield!!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

See Gasland 2 - Free in Frankfort September 26th

Gasland 2
Free Film Screening
***
Donations Accepted
***
Grand Theatre, Downtown Frankfort, KY
Thursday, Sept. 26, 7pm
***
Sponsored by
Envision Franklin County
More info: 223-7936
EnvisionFranklinCounty@gmail.com

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Multi-County Alert - Surveyors Out without Permission - Just Say No

Several individuals have reported this weekend that surveyors have been on properties without permission.  Also, one landowner reported that he declined permission for the survey and was immediately told that he could be taken to court if he did not give permission.  If this happens to you:

  • If possible, get a witness.
  • Take photos.  If possible, don't let them see you taking the photos.
  • If you feel threatened or do not want to confront them yourself, call the sheriff and report that you have trespassers on your property.  Ask for the police to come and get them out. 
  • Get (or ask the sheriff to get) the name of the company the trespassing individuals work for.
  • If you confront them yourself, tell them they do not have your permission to be on your property and to leave.  If they do not leave, call your sheriff.
  • Do not be intimidated by the threat of court action.
  • Contact your county attorney and report the trespassers.


Nun Shall Pass!

Even though the Sisters of Loretto have learned their historic motherhouse will not be on the route of the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline, the Roman Catholic nuns vow to continue fighting the proposal on behalf of others in Kentucky. Developers behind the proposed pipeline, which would ship natural-gas byproducts from the Pennsylvania area to the Gulf coast for processing, say they are no longer considering a route that would bring the pipeline through Marion County, where the motherhouse is located.

We spoke with a brother from Gethsemani on the pipeline issue. The brother indicated that the order is now officially cloistered and cannot interact with the community at large at this time. He sincerely apologized but did say that the abbey has and will continue to refuse to grant permission for the survey or allow pipeline reps onto their land.  Read more.

Debate Over Eminent Domain Is Not Over

The state's top energy and environmental regulator said Thursday that developers of the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline have no authority to use the power of eminent domain to acquire easements. Len Peters, secretary of the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, told a panel of state lawmakers that his agency's attorneys "do not see how eminent domain can be invoked" for the natural- gas liquids pipeline. The attorney for the pipeline developers disagreed. 

Cabinet officials and environmental attorney Tom FitzGerald, director of the Kentucky Resources Council, agreed that the state's opinion is just that - an opinion that carries no weight of law. While FitzGerald also argued that state law would not give the developers eminent domain powers, he said the legal dispute could only be settled by the Kentucky General Assembly. 

"It's really something that needs to be clarified," FitzGerald said after the nearly two-hour meeting. If the legislature does not clarify the matter, then it will be up the state's courts to do so, he said. In the meantime, he said, the company's threats of using eminent domain gives the developers a big advantage. Landowners will think they need to settle, he said. "Negotiations under threat of condemnation are inherently unfair," FitzGerald said. 

This leaves citizens scratching their heads wondering why the governor failed to address this concern, as it easily could have been, in the August special session of the General Assembly. There is plenty of time before January's session for the company to continue to hang the spectre of eminent domain over home and landowners' heads as they "ask" for easements.

It is inherently unfair that any hard-working, tax-paying family should have to defend their homes against a multi-billion dollar company. This is a simple matter of doing what is right for Kentuckians. If this matter goes to court, as we believe it will, who knows what the outcome could be? Certainly we would hope that a jury would do the right thing. If it does not, the precedent would be set for any company to condemn their property--even if there is no clear, direct public benefit.

Insurance Companies; Realtors Becoming Aware and Concerned about Pipeline

Realizing the implications for the impact of the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline on home and land values, the ability to sell property and obtain financing, real estate agencies are expressing their concerns. Home and farm insurers are also expressing concern because of the potential damage this pipeline could cause in the event of a leak or explosion.  Readers may want to consider contacting their insurance agents before signing any easement agreements to determine how the presence of the pipeline would. impact their insurance benefits. If possible, it would be a good idea to get your company's responses in writing.  Questions to ask your insurance agent:

  • Will you continue to cover my property if the pipeline goes through it?
  • If there is a leak, spill, or explosion, will my policy cover the damage?
  • If my neighbor's property is damaged because of the pipeline going through my property, would you cover the damage if I am sued?
  • How will the presence of this pipeline impact my rates?
Questions to ask your realtor:
  • How would the presence of this pipeline impact my home and land values?
  • How would the presence of this pipeline impact my home and land equity?
  • If I decided to sell in the future, how would this impact potential buyers' ability to get financing?

Public Will Have Opportunity to Speak Out on Pipeline - We Hope It Won't Be Too Late

State Sen. Jared Carpenter, R-Berea, co-chairman of the interim committee, said there will be opportunities to hear from landowners at a committee meeting later this year or during the 2014 regular legislative session.

"I had to set the agenda with the folks we had on hand to make sure we could get out of there at a reasonable time," Carpenter said. "I had people complaining that we stayed two hours. If I had let everybody that had a concern speak, we'd have been there till 10 o'clock at night. ... I would encourage them to contact the legislator that represents their area or myself to make sure we can get the information and their concerns out."

TX Family Battles Over Property Devalued by Pipeline

Texas - A McMullen County family that has battled a pipeline company since 2009 continued to prevail in court last week.

The Texas Supreme Court denied LaSalle Pipeline LP’s request to review a $605,000 jury award, granted to the family when jurors agreed with the landowner that the rest of the ranch — not simply the portion the pipeline itself traverses — would be devalued by the presence of a pipeline. We'll keep watch on this case and its implications for those living in the path of the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline, which could impact home and land values for properties it traverses as well as those it borders.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Interim Joint Committee Meeting Thursday September 5 at 1:00

Tomorrow, the Kentucky General Assembly will begin hearings on 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. The Annex building is directly behind the Capitol building.

Many of our group members plan to gather by noon in Room 113 of the Capitol Annex before the meeting to brief. We do not yet know if the public will be permitted to speak.

Whether you can attend or not, please consider calling the members of the committee to voice your concerns. Find their contact information here:

http://www.lrc.ky.gov/Committee/interim%20joint/NR%20&%20E/members.htm

You can leave one message for the entire committee members if you like.  None of the committee members represent the counties directly impacted by the proposed pipeline, and they may not be fully informed of the issues. Please express your concerns fully. Here are some suggestions you may want to stress:
  • This pipeline is NOT a natural gas pipeline. 
  • Natural gas and natural gas liquids are entirely different. 
  • This is not a utility. 
  • This is a private company planning to transport NGLs through Kentucky. 
  • Private companies that do not provide public services must not be entitled to eminent domain in Kentucky. 
  • The company's safety record is poor. 
The Bluegrass Pipeline company claims that the Westlake Chemical Company in Calvert City and Toyota in Georgetown could "tap into" this line and use the mixed NGLs in their operations. This is not entirely accurate. For either of these (or any companies in Kentucky) to use the products from this pipeline, additional processing plants would have to be built to separate and process the liquids for industrial use. This would cost of billions of dollars. 

If this pipeline is ultimately built:
  • Kentucky must establish strong regulatory governmental oversight during planning, construction, and operation; 
  • A comprehensive environmental impact study must be conducted, and the company must pay for any damages to private, county, and state-owned lands and waterways. 
  • A comprehensive needs assessment for emergency response must be conducted, equipment and emergency response vehicles, ongoing training, and a plan for regular review, maintenance and upgrade plan must be developed and fully funded. This should be at the company's expense and not the taxpayers' expense. 
  • A comprehensive study should be conducted to determine how the state will respond to massive contamination of public water supplies with toxic NGLs. 
  • The company must be required to post bonds to compensate for any damages to private, county, or state-owned properties, loss of life, or disability and dismemberment resulting from accidents during construction or operation of this line. 
If you are unable to come to Frankfort, you can watch the meeting on KET via a live stream starting at 1:00 PM at this link: http://www.ket.org/legislature/

Kentucky Hearing on the Bluegrass Pipeline Airs Live Tomorrow on KET

The Interim Joint Committee hearing on the Bluegrass Pipeline is scheduled to be lived-streamed by KET and should be available here starting at 1:00 PM:

http://www.ket.org/legislature/

There should be a link a couple of paragraphs down under UPCOMING LIVE COVERAGE

After the hearing, the video is usually archived and can be found here: 

http://www.ket.org/legislature/archives.php

We're not sure how long it takes for a video to get in the archives.  If you don't see it, make sure "2013 Interim Session" is selected in the drop down menu.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Batten Down the Hatches Kentucky - Here It Comes

While your sons and daughters make ready for a questionable war, here in the US, their inheritance is threatened by insatiable greed. Could this happen in Kentucky?

North Carolina landowners would be forced to sell the natural gas under their homes and farms – whether they want to or not – under a fracking recommendation approved Wednesday that’s expected to be enacted by the state legislature this fall.

The proposal by a state study group endorses a rarely used 1945 law that’s never been tried here on the kind of scale that would be required for shale gas exploration, or fracking. Thousands of property owners could potentially be affected in the state’s gas-rich midsection in Lee, Moore and Chatham counties.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/08/28/4271195/officials-ok-rule-to-force-fracking.html#.UiU2RX9cd2K#storylink=cpy

Inspiration for Your Week - A Place I Called Home

I am continually humbled by the outpouring of support we have received for our efforts to safeguard home and landowners' rights and to protect the environment.  We have now an outreach of more than 22,000 readers through this website, representing at least eleven countries.  Many of the people who write to us are fighting their own battles for their homes and communities, and I appreciate that they have taken the time to let us know we are not alone in our efforts. One such contact came from musicians Dianna MacLeod and Christopher Merrick, who are facing corporate exploitation of their homelands in Seattle, Washington.  They sent us their well wishes and a gift in their song.

A PLACE I CALLED HOME
Words and music by Christopher Merrick


Once I had a place, a place I called home
A peaceful place, a gentle place, that I could call my very own
And it always gave me shelter when I was drenched to the bone
Oh, I never seen a better place than a place I called home.
Well, I planted me a garden, tilled the soil with my hands
Twenty years of toil and tears, workin’ the land
And through it all, the trees grew tall from seeds that I had sown.

Oh, I never seen a better place than a place I called home
And the sun would shine on this garden of mine
Then one day a law man came ‘a knockin’ at my door
Said “We got a requisition to buy your land, you won’t have to work no more.”

And he promised me they’d save my trees and let my garden grow
But then they bulldozed it over, built a pipeline for the oil
And the rain came down and it washed away the tears I cried
when I seen what they had done.

Well, there used to be a little stream that flowed through my land
And its purity would quench my thirst and cleanse my workin’ hands
But now it’s buried ‘neath a foot of concrete and stone
You’d never know there’d been a place called home.

So now there is a pipeline where my garden used to be
Corporate greed, consumer need, they made a fool out of me
And if I could do it over, I‘d tell ‘em all to go to Hell
Let ‘em slap the handcuffs on my wrists, drag me off to jail.

Marion County Nuns Protest Bluegrass Pipeline


The Sisters of Loretto, their 780-acre compound in Marion County swarming with yellow butterflies amidst the Kentucky "Knobs" region, seem to be unlikely international superstars.  But that they are, since their resistance to the planned Bluegrass Pipeline — an exercise in song, prayer and civil disobedience — has put them on Internet sites from Mother Jones magazine to Slate. Mother Jones called them "a feisty cadre of nuns," while Slate headlined its take "Anti-fracking nuns" and hailed "the unlikely activism of sisters who have lived on remote land for 200 years."