Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Woodford County Fiscal Court Holds Public Meeting on the Proposed Pipeline

Members of the Woodford County Fiscal Court held an open public meeting on the controversial proposed Bluegrass Pipeline.  The fiscal court recorded the meeting and generously provided it for our use for informational purposes.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Construction and Operations Questions

Learn more about what is involved in the construction and operation of pipelines.  Find the answers you need to know. What is a pig?  Do pigs really fly? (surprisingly they can).  Learn more.

Sign our Petition Today!

Help us spread the word!  Use's awesome new tool to send letters to the editor of your area newspapers as well as national newspapers! It's easy!  Just type in your zip code, fill in the form, click the newspaper you want to send it to, and submit.  (You can use your browser's back button to go back and submit the same letter to other papers without having to retype your information too!)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Owner of PA Natural Gas Facility that Exploded Has Lengthy Record of Pipeline Safety Violations

Williams Partners L.P., the owner/operator of the natural gas compressor station that exploded in northeastern Pennsylvania has a history of serious natural gas pipeline safety violations, according to records obtained by in an article dated, March 2012.

How have they performed more recently? 

The reports that 2013 has not been the Williams Company's best year either, with 5 incidents since January, including two major explosions in New Jersey and Louisiana. Despite this track record, Williams rejected safety recommendations from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that suggested they bury their Rockaway pipeline deeper under the sand, reports the site.

Williams Transco Slaps Down U.S. Army Corps of Engineers In Rockaway Pipeline Dispute

Williams Company representatives have reported in public meetings in Kentucky that they work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to ensure pipeline safety.  A probing investigative report from suggests otherwise.  "The company seeking to build a natural gas pipeline through national park land near New York City dismissed safety recommendations from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently, asserting instead that their own plans to build the pipeline to a lesser standard will provide “full protection of the pipeline while minimizing environmental impacts,” according to documents obtained by"

Williams Company History and Safety Issues Timeline

A popular defense of the pipeline by its promoters is that pipelines are safe.“We are committed to constructing and operating a safe and reliable pipeline,” Tom Droege, Williams Company, Frankfort State Journal – July 25, 2013" However, if history may be a good indicator of what we might expect from this company.  Take a look at what we've found:

For a timeline of Williams Company history and incidents, download the following:

Timeline Page 1 -
Timeline Page 2 -

Did we mention that we would like for you to sign our petition?

Way to Go Scott County!

Scott County Magistrate Tom Prather reported that the fiscal court passed a resolution against the Bluegrass Pipeline at last night’s meeting!  Way to go!  United We Stand against the Bluegrass Pipeline!

On a related note, be advised that representatives from the pipeline are visiting individuals living in the path and hand delivering invitations to a picnic they are sponsoring. Beware!

Sign Our Petition!  Stop the attempts of corporate interests to abuse eminent domain laws, misinform citizens of Kentucky laws, and protect home and land owners from exploitation.

Franklin County Fiscal Court Issues Statement Against the Bluegrass Pipeline

The Franklin County Fiscal Court Issues 
Anti-Pipeline Proclamation

Magistrates passed a resolution Thursday opposing a natural gas liquids pipeline planned to run through Franklin County, citing environmental and safety concerns and unanswered questions from company representatives.  We are very appreciative of the fiscal court's efforts.  Read the story:

Read the Franklin County Proclamation:

Sign Our Petition:

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Essential Bluegrass Pipeline Toolkit

The New Pioneers for a Sustainable Future has assembled a virtual toolkit of resource documents created by many people involved with the movement to help you get started on fighting the pipeline in your area!  Find it here:  While you're here, check out their Stop the Bluegrass Pipeline T-Shirt.

Don't Forget!
We still need signatures on our petition to Governor Beshear as well.  Sign today, and share this link with others far and wide:

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tell Beshear to Stop the Bluegrass Pipeline - Sign Our Petition!

Help us send a clear message to Governor Steve Beshear to stop the pipeline! Our governor can stop this, but clearly we must demand it!  Do it now, and share this link with others! We must move on this immediately!
Sign Our Easy Online Petition
Governor Beshear - Stop the Bluegrass Pipeline:

Help Us!  Print A Paper Petition and Gather Signatures to Help!
Places to Share the Petition:
Work, Church, Farming Organizations and Extension Offices
Clubs and Civic Organizations, Friends & Family
Colleges & Universities, Sports Leagues, Book Clubs, 
Even Out-of-State Signatures are Welcome
This pipeline affects states from Pennsylvania to Louisiana!

Once you've gathered signatures and are ready to share them with us, drop us a note in the comments box on the side of this web page, and we will contact you! Thank you for your help.  Together we can protect the Commonwealth.

Are you afraid to sign?  Answers to your questions:
1.  Will you bother me if I sign?

No.  Perhaps you are worried that you'll end up on a junk mail list or that we'll ask you for a contribution.  It is possible that will send you a follow up email because they are hosting our petition.  We chose them because of their visibility and the fact that they are free.  However, you can always opt out of any emails from  

2.  Will you ask me for contributions?

No one involved with this grass roots effort will ask you for a contribution.  We are not an organized non-profit, so we can't do that.  Those of us who are heavily involved do contribute to the cause by paying for printing, postage, website costs, and contributing our time.  However, we voluntarily do this.  No one asked us to do so.

3.  What will happen to my personal information?

We will deliver the information you entered on the petition to the governor and legislators.  From there, it could end up at the Whitehouse.

4.  If I sign this, will it stop me from taking action on other more important issues?

Absolutely not.   And besides, is there any more important issue than protecting our water supplies, preventing the spread of fracking, and preserving your home, land, and property rights for your children?

5.  This doesn't affect me.  I'm not in the path of the pipeline. Why should I sign?

Do you drink water?  Do you eat any foods that require water for production?  Do you own a home or land that future pipelines might threaten? (If this line goes through, there WILL be more.)  Do you want fracking in your community?  Are you concerned about U.S. natural resources being exported rather than being used for jobs here in the states?  Are you concerned that this highly toxic and flammable line will be buried just three feet under the ground and will transport up to 400,000 barrels a day, making it a tempting target for terrorism (domestic and foreign)?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this does affect you, and we ask you to seriously consider signing.

The Bluegrass Pipeline May Pass Through Up to Eighteen Kentucky Counties

Although we do not know the exact route of the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline, based on the information released by the company and what we have gathered from landowners, we have compiled the following information for you.  Find out if your safety, property rights, and water supplies are in its path.

WKYT-TV Airs Bluegrass Pipeline Story

WKYT Spotlights Opposition to the Bluegrass Pipeline

WOODFORD COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Along the Kentucky River in Woodford County it's quiet, just the way Brad Slutskin likes it. "I love my community," he boasted, which is why he and others are worried over a proposed pipeline that will run through the area.  The Williams Company's is proposing the Bluegrass Pipeline project which would carry natural gas liquid through Anderson, Woodford, and Franklin Counties.

"It's not that we're on edge, we're completely and vehemently opposed to this pipeline coming through," stated Slutskin.
Even more concerning for some is that the proposal could potentially take the pipeline under the Kentucky River, which Slutskin fears would pose a risk to the water.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

FAX the Governor Up to Five Times a Day for Free!

Send the following message using  It's easy. You can just copy and paste the text below.  You will be sent an email, and you will need to confirm your address before the fax is sent, but otherwise, it is easy.  It took us less than thirty seconds to complete the process.

Governor Beshear, you can do two things to stand up for the rights of Kentucky landowners against assault from the Bluegrass Pipeline.  Please include the following issue in the call for the Special 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 AND  Limit eminent domain powers to utility-owned pipelines.  Thank you for your consideration.

The Governor's fax number is:  (502) 564-2517

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. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Photo for Thought - Earthquakes in the New Madrid Seismic Zone 2000 - June 2013

And They Want to Put an NGL Pipeline Through Here?

This region needs another pipeline like the country needs another national disaster.

Awesome Meetings in Frankfort, Millville, and Lawrenceburg!

It is exciting to see the citizens and public officials working together in Central Kentucky to have intense public discussions about the threats by what is, in our opinion, a poorly planned project, the Bluegrass Pipeline and what it would bring to our state. To all of our county officials who are supporting our efforts to bring transparency and accountability to this process, Kentucky thanks you!

Franklin County Fiscal Court

Monday's meeting of the Frankfort Fiscal Court was great! Here are some brief excerpts from an article in the State Journal from reporter Ryan Quinn. Of course, we cannot publish the article in its entirety here, but here are some of the best parts summarized:

A crowd packed into the first special meeting on the Bluegrass Pipeline project.  Some had to stand or sit on the floor, and several chose to wait outside.

"Through stubborn persistence — over the apparent wishes of Judge-Executive Ted Collins and magistrates Phillip Kring and Don Sturgeon to put off public comment until a later date — the crowd essentially made Fiscal Court and a Williams representative hear their concerns." 

County Attorney Rick Sparks discussed numerous safety incidents and called the company’s belief it has eminent domain rights in Kentucky "baseless in case law."

Sparks asked the Williams representative if he had a list of accidents from the last ten years, and Hunt admitted he did not. "Sparks then read his own list off his cellphone, asking Hunt about each incident, and Hunt could not confirm nor deny many of Sparks’ questions."

Chris Schimmoeller, president of Envision Franklin County, insisted that the public be allowed to speak when it appeared the judge was not going to allow them to do so. 

The judge made Hunt write down questions.  Hunt said he would get answers to the Fiscal Court. "Staff made copies of Hunt’s notes and handed them out to attendees."  The judge attempted to limit the questions to one per person, but some just told their question to another person and had he or she ask instead.

Millville Community Meeting

About 90 concerned Kentuckians from the Millville area and other counties--as far away as Larue--filled the sanctuary of the Millville Christian Church, which generously provided their church at no cost for the meeting!  Thank you Millville Christian Church!  Attorney Brad Slutskin and Dr. Loraine Garkovich presented and facilitated the discussion.  No one at the meeting spoke in favor of the pipeline, and many expressed the desire to become actively involved in stopping it. Citizens left the meeting with a firm commitment to take action.  You can too!  Learn How!

Download Meeting Handouts:
1.  The Proposed Bluegrass Pipeline

Anderson County

One of our members reported meeting with county judge executive John Wayne Conway.  The judge reported he has received calls from dozens, close to 50?! landowners in the path of the proposed pipeline that are opposed in Anderson co.  It is proposed to go 2000 feet from his own house. He has not heard from one person who is for it.  He has personally told William's representative Wendell Hunt that Anderson County does not want it - period. 
The judge invited our member to a fiscal court meeting held this evening to give a 15 minute briefing to the court.  The judge was given all the information that was gathered by everyone in the group, and he made copies to pass out to everyone.  He also wants to have a vote about the pipeline. From there, a community meeting for Anderson county will be scheduled.  The judge reported the local paper would be present at the fiscal court meeting.  

Reportedly, all went well in Anderson County last night.  Several concerned citizens came to the meeting.  They voiced their concerns.  The judge said publicly that he recognized from the start that William Hunt was a "salesman" for the Williams Company and has told him that Anderson county does not want the pipeline.  They scheduled a community meeting here Anderson County for August 6.  Details on the time and location will be posted on the Meetings Near You page as soon as they are available. It will be advertised in the county newspaper.  

Listen Up Farmers - Think a Pipeline Won't Affect Your Land and Quality of Life? Think Again!

Chevron Corp. (CVX), Williams Cos. and WPX Energy Inc. (WPX) face a lawsuit by six Pennsylvania families who claim nearby gas wells are a nuisance that have diminished their ability to make use of their property.  The families say the companies’ activities have ruined the “quiet use and enjoyment” of their homes and caused emotional damages including anxiety and fear. The homeowners seek unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for the effects of toxic chemicals, noise and odor from nearby gas wells, according to a copy of a complaint provided by the families’ lawyers. 

Counting on Compensation for Pipeline Damages? Don't!

Some landowners may believe that they can count on pipeline companies for compensation in the event of a leak or explosion, assuming they survive.  In reality, settlements, (if any) can take decades.  For example the long-term plan for rehabilitating damaged resources has yet to be implemented a full quarter century after the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spewing more than 11 million gallons of crude oil into the surrounding ecosystem.  Many victims of pipeline disasters must file lawsuits to get compensation from companies.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Dutch Banks Won't Lend Money to Fracking Business

Dutch bank Rabobank has announced it will not lend money to businesses that deal with unconventional energy extraction, including shale gas, because of the environmental and social implications of doing so.  Its restriction on loans applies also to farmers who decide to lease their land to energy companies for extraction operations. 

The bank applied the measures in order to slow down the so-called ‘dash for gas’ which is happening rapidly, particularly in the US. A recent study that looked at 141 drinking water wells in Pennsylvania – where natural gas production increased by 69% in 2012 – found methane in 82% of the samples. This suggests that the drilling taking place nearby has somehow affected the water quality. Read more...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

EPA - Is There Really an Environmental Protection Agency in Washington?

Clearly the EPA has sold out, lost its scientific foundation, and is no longer representing the interests of the public upon whose taxes it feeds.  In an inconceivably irresponsible move that comes on the heels of its recent decision to abandon an important fracking impact study, the EPA issues formal approval for millions of gallons of water laced with toxic chemicals from oil and gas drilling rigs for consumption by wildlife and livestock.  Contrary to its own regulations, EPA is issuing permits for surface application of drilling wastewater without even identifying the chemicals in fluids used for hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, let alone setting effluent limits for the contaminants contained within them.

The truly unconscionable thing about this is that the people who are using this water are farmers driven to desperate measures by drought conditions which were most likely related to fracking in the first place....and here's the kicker...many of them are Native Americans.  When will we ever stop abusing these people?  Perhaps we should start a petition to kick them all out and start a real EPA.

Call to Action! Easy Things You Can Do This Week to Stop the Bluegrass Pipeline

Act Now to Stop the Bluegrass Pipeline Proposal

There here are five critical actions you can take this week to stop the poorly conceived Bluegrass Pipeline:

1.  Attend the Franklin County Fiscal Court Meeting tomorrow, Monday, July 15 at 1:30 PM.  The meeting will be held at 321 W. Main Street in Frankfort.  For more information, call 502-875-8751.

2. Contact Governor Beshear, your legislators, and representatives.  Tell them to put the poorly conceived Bluegrass Pipeline on the Special Session Agenda for August!

Call Mr. Beshear at:  (502) 564-2611 Fax: (502) 564-2517 TDD: (502) 564-9551 (Telecom Device for the Deaf). 

Find Your Representative here:

3. Attend these public meetings:
Millville Area Community Meeting
DATE: Tuesday July 16, 2013
VENUE: Millville Christian Church,
LOCATION: 5210 McCracken Pike, Versailles, KY
TIME: 6:00-8:00 PM
PURPOSE/RULES: Information/questions/concerns

Shelby KFTC Informational meeting
DATE: Thursday, July 18
VENUE: Stratton Center
LOCATION: 215 Washington St, Shelbyville, KY
TIME: 6:00 p.m.
PURPOSE/RULES: Not specified

5.  Share Our Brochure with Your friends, neighbors, and other contacts. Download it through FileDropper.  Be patient because it is a little slow.  However, it is free, so we can't complain.  You will receive an .rtf file called Pipelinebooklet.rtf that you can personalize for your county or organization. 

Watch Out Kentucky - Methane Found in Pennsylvania Drinking Water

A new study links elevated levels of methane and other gases in groundwater to nearby hydraulic fracturing wells on the Marcellus shale.  Some of the methane was at dangerous levels. The study found 12 homes with levels above the recommended federal limit of 28 milligrams per liter, and 11 of those water wells were closer to gas drilling sites. Eighty percent of all the water wells they tested contained some level of methane, including many with no nearby drilling.

North Carolina Scientists Call for Fracking Research and Restraing - Kentucky Should Too

A Call for Government Action on Fracking from the North Carolina Academy of Science (NCAS)

The scientists of the NCAS have issued a position statement on fracking including a number of recommendations Kentucky's legislators should implement to fulfill their responsibility to their constituents.  To assume a "hands-off" attitude toward the ill-conceived Bluegrass Pipeline would be an abdication of our government's responsibility to represent the tax-paying citizens of the Commonwealth.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Company's Priority Apparently Misplaced

JULY 10, 2013:  Workers hired to handle a oil and gas spill that contaminated a creek and groundwater near Parachute may have been exposed to benzene and other hazardous chemicals, federal authorities said Wednesday.

Federal investigators found that Rangely-based Striegel Inc., Williams Co. subsidiary Bargath and Rifle-based Badger Daylighting Corp. failed to protect workers they sent to excavate toxic soil near Williams' Parachute Creek gas plant,where a spill was revealed in March.  The agency also claimed that the firms didn't develop decontamination procedures or ensure employees received safety training relating to the spill, the documents state.

Scott County Pipeline Meeting - Dissecting the Media Spin

At a recent fiscal court meeting in Scott County Courthouse, Wendell Hunt, of Williams Company made several statements that we felt warranted a response and a fact check. He asserted that the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline would lessen America’s dependence on oil from the Middle East. 

The company has provided no explanation of how the Bluegrass Pipeline, which is designed for carrying NGLs to the Gulf for processing, would impact how much oil the US buys from the Middle East.  

"A pipeline is safer than transporting natural gas liquids by rail or truck," Hunt said. "Additionally, rail and trucking can be expensive," he said.

This is debatable. While there have historically been more incidents of accidents with trucking and rail transport, a single pipeline rupture releases a far greater volume of toxic NGLs. As a result, the results of a pipeline leak tend to cause more damage. Neither means of transport is an acceptable risk.  The public should not have to choose between:

  • Option A:  More frequent chances of disaster; or
  • Option B:  Fewer, more-catastrophic chances of disaster.

The purposes of this pipeline are to decrease transportation costs, increase the amount of NGLs transported, and possibly to provide more infrastructure to expand fracking. The Williams Company's concern is to increase profits.

“More than half the distance of the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline is already built. That’s a masterful plan that would accelerate the timeline and lower the cost,” Williams Cos. Inc.’s website states.

Again, this is all about saving money for the Williams Company.  Large portions of the existing pipelines referred to were built years ago and were engineered for natural gas and not NGLs. There is very little government oversight of the "repurposing" of these pipelines because of regulatory gaps.  The safety of this plan is a significant concern.

“I know we’ve had some concerns, but we address those concerns early on,” Hunt said. 

It is unclear from this statement what Mr. Hunt meant. No public meetings were held until they were demanded by the public.  Many landowners reported they were contacted in isolation and that even public officials were unaware of the activity of the Williams Company in their areas.  

He s[Hunt] aid those involved with the pipeline do not want to be in an adversarial position with the landowners. “At this point, it’s only the survey that we’re asking for,” Hunt said.

For practical purposes, they already surveyed landowners' properties before they asked permission. They plotted the entire proposed route using satellite imagery and information on property boundaries from county PVAs.  Some attorneys contacted by this blog have indicated that consenting for the survey could make it easier for the company to support their argument for eminent domain. That said, it is NOT "just a survey." 

If the pipeline is constructed in parts of Scott County, pipeline employees will walk along the line, fly overhead and monitor it to ensure things are running smoothly, he said.

Other independent websites and news reports have documented that the company's safety record is a concern. One can easily find accounts of the company's history on the Internet, and there have been many leaks and ruptures. There have also been major explosions. In some cases, it has been alleged that the company was aware of problems before major incidents occurred, but they failed to correct them. 

Lawsuits are alleging that the company has not implemented adequate safety measures in their own facilities.  How likely is it that they'll do better at monitoring a pipeline that spans from Pennsylvania to Louisiana?  In other cases, such as the recent Parachute Creek incident, a pipeline leak was reportedly discovered by a construction crew, largely by accident, even though several state and federal agencies are charged with monitoring gas pipelines in the state. 

Stakeholders will be notified about the public meetings by letters, in newspapers and on the radio. “Every land owner who will be impacted will get a notification,” Hunt said.

Not just landowners will be impacted. Why is the general public, which also has a major stake in these decisions, being excluded? Also, why should the Williams Company be in control of the public meetings when it is not clear that they have eminent domain authority in Kentucky?

Hunt said companies in Kentucky would be able to use the pipeline for transportation as well, and said the pipeline could be perceived as a big railroad car.

Alarm bells should be going off in everyone's heads at this statement. What Kentucky companies would use an NGL pipeline? Only those engaged in large-scale fracking. It appears that Mr. Hunt is alluding to the possible future fracking spin-offs here in Kentucky after successful installation of this Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) pipeline.  

He talked further about the economic boom that could occur in Kentucky as new operations take advantage of the Bluegrass Pipeline.  This "common-carrier" pipeline, he said, could be opened-up to Kentucky-fracked NGL's. Anyone who thinks this is a good idea should read up on what's happening in Pennsylvania and the methane showing up in ground water.  

In many areas where fracking is occurring, water shortages and droughts are also occurring.  While the industry strongly denies it is causing droughts, the fact remains they are taking huge quantities of fresh water, adding chemicals and abrasives, blasting it into the earth's crust to release gas, and then injecting the resulting waste water back underground where it remains.  Water tables are reportedly being lowered. While it is true that this correlation does not prove causality, it is still possible that there is a link between fracking and drought.  Families and farmers are now in competition with big gas and oil for fresh water to survive.

Hunt said the dates, places and times of the public meetings would be announced soon. Additionally, planners of the pipeline plan to hold open houses for landowners. Williams is based in Tulsa, Okla., while Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP has primary offices in Houston, Texas, and Owensboro, according to the firm’s website,

Again, why is this company being permitted to proceed with this project as if they already have the authority to do so? This is something our government should be doing. To allow a private company to pick and choose what information it wants to share and to take control of communication with the public is to give them a position of power over citizens of the Commonwealth.

Fracking, Energy Exploration Linked to Earthquakes

The rivers of water pumped into and out of the ground during the production of natural gas, oil and geothermal energy are causing the Earth to shake more frequently in areas where these industrial activities are soaring, according to a series of studies published today. While the gas extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing (aka "fracking") causes some small quakes, it's the disposal of wastewater following that process — and many others relating to energy production — that lead to the largest tremors.  Projects such as the Bluegrass Pipeline will likely lead to increased fracking in Kentucky and throughout the region.  Sign our petition via the link on the side of this page to let your legislators know you are against the Bluegrass Pipeline.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Franklin County Fiscal Court to Hold Pipeline Meeting

Important Meeting!
What:  Franklin County Fiscal Court Pipeline Meeting
When:  Monday, July 15th at 1:30 PM
Where:  321 W. Main Street Frankfort, KY 40601 
Phone for More Information:  502-875-8751 

This will be an important meeting, in part, because of the individuals expected to attend.  Be there and support our cause if you can.  It has been reported that a Williams Company representative will be there.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Check Out Frequently Asked Questions

Kentuckians have a lot of questions about the Bluegrass Pipeline, and many do not know where to get reliable answers.  Don't just rely on what you hear from company representatives.  Learn what others are saying.  We are compiling a list of frequently asked questions that can help.  Read our Q & A, and if you have a question for us, submit it in the contact box on the side of any page on this site.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

We Want to Hear Your Stories!

Stories abound on the impact of fracking and pipelines in other parts of the country, and Kentucky's citizens have stories to tell as well.  We want to know why this movement is important to you.  Have you had contact with the Williams Company?  How were you treated?  Were you told the facts about the pipeline?  Were you lied to?  Did your property get surveyed without your permission?  Is anyone in authority listening to you?  We want to know!  Visit our Share Your Stories page, and read what others have reported. Then, tell us your story as well.

What It's Like to Have Fracking in Your Back Yard

Editorial Opinion

If the Bluegrass Pipeline is built, make no mistake, fracking will also come soon and possibly to your own back yard. Fracking takes rural communities and turns them into industrial zones — and citizens have little recourse. 

Thanks to the so-called “Halliburton Loophole” in the 2005 Energy Policy Act, fracking is exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act and there are exemptions also in the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. 

In West Virginia, a state with a long history of energy extraction, industry has a controlling hand in local and state politics and thus far, seems to be calling the shots. To make matters worse, many properties had their mineral rights separated over a century ago. So, people may own their homes and properties, but not the minerals underneath. Their property can be destroyed by drilling and they will have no financial gain.  Learn more about life in the fracking zone.

Will Hardin County Judge Exec Meet with Williams Company Behind Closed Doors?

Editorial Opinion

In a continuing and deeply disturbing trend, the Williams Company, would-be builders of the ill-conceived Bluegrass Pipeline, are reportedly meeting privately with county officials across the state, presumably to secure their cooperation in their project.  Tax-paying, voting citizens may be completely unaware that their elected representatives may be making deals with an out-of-state, privately owned company that will affect the rights and well-being of not just landowners, but people all across the state. 

Some of our readers have shared their concerns that Hardin County Judge Executive, Harry L. Berry, was overheard, allegedly saying he will be meeting with the Williams Company on July 16, 2013. He purportedly stated that the Williams Company would be giving him information so [county officials] can make their decision.  Berry was reportedly invited to the recent Nelson County citizens' meeting (allegedly also was offered a ride to that meeting), but he was said to have refused to attend that public forum on the pipeline. 

Frankly, it is frightening that the Williams Company can get an audience with county officials when citizens are being denied the same opportunity to speak and share information.

For those of you who wish to express your concern about these allegations directly to Mr. Berry and to encourage him to hold public hearings on the publicly opposed pipeline, here is the location and contact information for his office:  
100 Public Square,3rd Floor
Elizabethtown, Ky  42702
Phone: 270-765-2350
Fax: 270-737-5590

Kentuckians living anywhere in or adjacent to the gray areas on the map below should be closely watching the activities of their county judge executives' offices.  It is very possible that the company will not present information to them that they need to know to make a fully informed decision.  The company's safety record, for example, is not likely to be discussed. 

Let us know if your officials may be meeting privately with the Williams Company and/or they may be refusing to share information publicly or to listen to citizens' concerns.  Submit your information in the contact box on this page.  We will publicly inform our readership of the allegations and provide contact information for them to express their concerns.  We will also keep your identity confidential.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Are Pipelines Safer than Other Transport Methods?

A common assertion by NGL proponents is that pipelines are the safest way to transport them.  A study of oil spills in pipelines and trains, however, suggests otherwise.

Pipelines in North America spilled three times as much crude oil as trains for comparative distances over an eight-year period, the International Energy Agency said today in a study it based on U.S. Department of Transportation data.

Essentially, the Paris-based energy adviser concluded that while the risk of a train spill was six times greater than a pipeline incident over the period between 2004 and 2012, pipeline leaks spilled three times the oil.

Oil and gas companies would have the public choose, as if we must shoulder the risks of an either or scenario.  In our opinion, the public should not have to choose between this:
and this.

Inspiration for the Good Fight

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Congratulations Washington County on what we hear was an excellent meeting!  Now get out there and spread the word! Share this site with your loved ones, friends, neighbors, and officials.  Individuals looking for help can find it here.

Josh Fox and Gasland II Featured on Diane Rehm Show

Today, Josh Fox and a rep from the oil and gas industry were featured today on NPR's Diane Rehm Show in discussion of the newly released movie Gasland II. Filmmaker Josh Fox brought attention to the environmental risks of the method of natural gas extraction known as fracking in his 2010 documentary “Gasland.” He’s back with a sequel warning of even more profound dangers.  Reading some of the comments below the story, it seems likely the fracking industry is taking the film seriously because they are attempting to discredit it across the web.

The story of Gasland II was also featured on Morning Edition.  You can listen to the report and read the transcript here.  Learn more about Josh Fox's history with the Gasland documentaries here.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Williams Company Reportedly Knew of Leaks Before Virginia Explosion

WSLS 10 reported that one year before the 2008 Appomattox, VA explosion, federal inspectors issued a Notice of Probable Violation and Proposed Civil Penalty, alleging that five of Williams’ Company devices that apply slight electrical current to the pipes to prevent corrosion were not operating properly. One of those devices was 3.8 miles from the explosion site, the order said. Another was less than 20 miles. Read more...

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Federal Agency Relies on Operator Self-Reporting on Pipeline "Incidents"

Would the leak in this photo qualify as an incident under federal regulations?  This photo shows a leak discovered by hikers in West Virginia in a wildlife management area.  The tubes in the stream are supposed to collect the "seepage."

The PHMSA relies on pipeline operators to report incidents of pipeline leaks.  Not only does the current system rely on the fox to report hen hen house injuries, deaths, and property damage, it also also allows for many incidents deemed less significant to go unreported.  Codified Federal Regulations define the term "incident" as follows.

Incident means any of the following events:
(1) An event that involves a release of gas from a pipeline, or of liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, refrigerant gas, or gas from an LNG facility, and that results in one or more of the following consequences:
(i) A death, or personal injury necessitating in-patient hospitalization;
(ii) Estimated property damage of $50,000 or more, including loss to the operator and others, or both, but excluding cost of gas lost;
(iii) Unintentional estimated gas loss of three million cubic feet or more;
(2) An event that results in an emergency shutdown of an LNG facility. Activation of an emergency shutdown system for reasons other than an actual emergency does not constitute an incident.
(3) An event that is significant in the judgment of the operator, even though it did not meet the criteria of paragraphs (1) or (2) of this definition.

How Effective is Gas Line Monitoring?

Repotedly, No Alarm Sounded When The West Virginia Pipeline Exploded

When the 20-inch gas pipeline by I-77 in West Virginia ruptured in 2012, nobody at pipeline operator, Columbia Gas Transmission, knew it.  Now, the National Transportation Safety Board is trying to find out why. NTSB member Robert Sumwalt says no warning went off in the operating company's control center in nearby Charleston, so investigators are going there to interview staffers and review data.  The explosion shut down the freeway and leveled at least four homes. No one was killed or badly injured.

US Pipelines Incidents Are a Daily Occurrence

Thermal image of gas line leaks in Boston, MA showing impact of aging infrastructure.  

The catastrophic Mayflower, Arkansas pipeline failure  resulting in a massive oil spill is receiving much media scrutiny.  However, leaks such as this are far from unusual. Data from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), indicates there were 1,887 incidents in the nation’s gathering and transmission, distribution, and hazardous liquids pipelines between January 1, 2010 and March 29, 2013, or an average of 1.6 incidents per day.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Following the Money - Could Our Governor Be On the Take From Big Gas?

While it’s pretty evident that the oil and gas industry has long had strong support from within the Republican Party, what might not be obvious is how much financial support the industry has given to the Democrats, specifically to Democratic governors. Since 2008, some of America’s biggest oil and gas companies have donated approximately $3,555,281 to the Democratic Governor’s Association.  Could this explain the current administration's dismissive attitude toward Kentuckians' concerns about the Bluegrass Pipeline?

Call our governor up and ask if these contributions are affecting his stance on the pipeline...Main Line: (502) 564-2611 Fax: (502) 564-2517 TDD: (502) 564-9551 (Telecom Device for the Deaf). An email works too:

To tell the Democratic Governors Association to stop taking money from the fossil fuel industry:

Also of interest, the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform reports that many of the top political donors "have given to both parties. Among the largest 100 donors to either partisan fund, OpenSecrets found that almost half, 48 donors, including 45 corporations and 3 associations, gave to both."

Oh Say Can You See...Through the Frackers' Big Lie...

The old gumshoe technique of following the money to solve the crime is also relevant to the fracking business. In a well-done piece of journalistic detective work Jim, Hightower exposes where the money is coming from, and where it is going--all at the expense of our environment.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Independence Day Thoughts

On Independence Day, our thoughts turn to fun with friends and family as we celebrate what it means to be an American.  Our nation's founders fought against tyranny and taxation without representation and won our freedom.  Exercise those freedoms on July 4th as you spread the word about the Bluegrass Pipeline.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Photo for Thought

This is what it looks like when a pipeline goes through someone's homeplace:

Contact Your Kentucky Legislators

If you're like many Kentuckians who have reported information to us, you may have been approached by Williams Company representatives without the benefit of unbiased information.  You may also have found your local officials either uninformed, or unwilling, or unsure of how to help.  Your voice is important in stopping the Bluegrass Pipeline, and Kentucky's legislators need to hear your concerns.  Find out who your representatives are and how to contact them on the Kentucky Legislative Research Committee web page.  Call your reps today and let them know you are opposed to the Bluegrass Pipeline and support legislation to prevent this type of development in Kentucky.  This federal government site offers additional ways to contact your reps.

Gasland Part II Airs Free on HBO - Beginning July 8, 2013

Gasland Part II is set to air for free on HBO beginning July 8, 2013 at 9:00 PM.  Watch the Gasland II trailer. The film is the sequel to the groundbreaking HBO documentary Gasland, which took an unflinching look at the environmental assault on America known as fracking.  Written and directed by Josh Fox, this must-see film was Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2011, the film focuses on communities in the United States impacted by natural gas drilling and, specifically, a method of horizontal drilling into shale formations known as slickwater fracking.  

So what does Gasland have to do with the Bluegrass Pipeline?  Plenty.  Up to 400,000 barrels of the toxic byproducts of fracking, Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs) will be transported through the Bluegrass Pipeline under high pressure every day through Kentucky's back yards.  It is important for Kentuckians to know the dangers of these substances.

Naturally, the film has drawn serious backlash from the gas industry, which accused Fox of spreading inaccurate information.  In making Gasland, Fox set interviewed citizens of Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and other states to document the impact of widespread natural gas drilling over the last ten years. He interviewed individuals who have suffered health problems directly traceable to contamination of their air, of their water wells or of surface water. Fox reached out to scientists, politicians and gas industry executives and ultimately worked with a  subcommittee of Congress in attempt to affect positive change.  Ultimately hydraulic fracturing was exempted from the Safe Drinking Water Act in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.  Fox was arrested for environmental advocacy:

Check out Gasland II on HBO, and view clips of Gasland in two parts below: