Sisters of Loretto in Kentucky say no to surveys for a land-based gas pipeline through their property. Climate Desk journalist interviews the Sisters in video above.
Two Roman Catholic communities, which collectively own more than 3,000 acres in Central Kentucky, are refusing to permit access to their historic properties for a proposed underground pipeline that would transport flammable, pressurized natural-gas liquids across the state.
The Sisters of Loretto in Marion County and the Abbey of Gethsemani in Nelson County have denied representatives of the pipeline developers permission to survey their property and said they won’t consent to participating in the project.
The pipeline companies, Williams Co. out of Tulsa and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners assert that they can use eminent domain to seize right of way. According to the article:
The partnership hasn’t determined the final route yet, but it maintains it has the right to obtain easements on properties through eminent domain under Kentucky law, even if the owners don’t want to participate.
Nuns in the Loretto community fear for the health of wildlife, land, water and air quality, should the pressurized gas pipeline be placed in Central Kentucky’s porous limestone bedrock.
Kathy Wright penned a letter, published in the Loretto Community News. She writes (emphasis added):
The grassroots efforts in Kentucky to stop the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline are growing exponentially. Landowners and concerned citizens have challenged the quiet campaign by the Williams Co to survey property across Kentucky to build a natural gas liquids (NGLs) pipeline without really telling anyone what this proposed pipeline would carry. The word has spread that this is NOT a natural gas pipeline and it is not like other pipelines that exist in the state. This is something new – the toxic byproducts of natural gas fracking (hydraulic fracturing) in Pennsylvania.
More and more people in the counties where the pipeline might be located are educating themselves about natural gas liquids. Educational community gatherings, door to door campaigns and local media articles are all part of the efforts to get the word out. For many people and local governments the risks and dangers of a pipeline far outweigh the proposed compensation for the required easements the companies need to build this pipeline. Pipelines carrying toxic liquids like benzene and butane in a highly pressurized and volatile state create serious threats to entire communities, the land and the water supply.