Conway says he has concerns about proposed Bluegrass Pipeline

08/15/2013 02:58 PM

LOUISVILLE – Attorney General Jack Conway said Thursday he doesn’t think the firm that wants to build a natural gas liquids pipeline has the ability to take land through eminent domain.

The proposed pipeline which would start in Youngstown, Ohio, would run through a swath of northern and Central Kentucky. It has been garnering headlines across the state as the company, Williams and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, attempts to buy up land.

Conway told an audience of 75 at the Governor’s Local Issues Conference in Louisville that he isn’t convinced that the pipeline company qualifies as a utility. And only a public utility could force landowners to sell their rights to their land under eminent domain.

“I don’t think this private business that wants to back-flow liquid gas back down toward the Gulf meets the definition of a utility,” Conway said when asked if he would write an official opinion on the pipeline.

He said he has not yet been asked to write an advisory opinion but anticipates he will receive a request soon.

“We’re going to have to look at what the Public Service Commission says about that,” he said, noting that his office often represents the commonwealth in front of that agency.

Conway also said in his remarks that he believes Boardwalk and Williams needs to make the best case about why the pipeline will benefit the commonwealth.

“I also know that if there is going to be that level of natural gas production in places like north-eastern Ohio and Pennsylvania and they want to ship it to the Gulf they can’t go around Kentucky,” Conway told the group of prosecutors, attorneys, magistrates, and judge executives. “Whatever deal is cut, or whatever comes through here, it needs to be done in a way where the Commonwealth of Kentucky gets the most benefit out of it.”

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm joined cn|2 in December 2011 as a reporter for Pure Politics. Throughout his career, Nick has covered several big political stories up close, including interviewing President Barack Obama on the campaign trail back in 2008. Nick says he loves being at the forefront of Kentucky politics and working with the brightest journalists in the commonwealth. Follow Nick on Twitter @Nick_Storm. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@twcnews.com.

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Comments

  • name withheld wrote on August 15, 2013 03:24 PM :

    I think those landowners should demand that they be paid rent on their land instead of taking a lump sum if the pipeline goes through. The USDA Conservation Reserve Program pays rent to farmers to save soil. The rent should be increased over the years as inflation increases too.

  • dudley gaines wrote on August 16, 2013 11:25 AM :

    Conway is fishing for votes. What is the alternative to this pipeline. Trucks and trains, what is the cost compared to pipelines. Look at a map of the pipe lines that run just through Alabama and Louisiana, if the scenario predicted by the opponents of the “Bluegrass Pipeline” had actually happened Louisiana and Alabama would look like Hiroshima just after the bomb was dropped.

  • Sandy Knauer wrote on August 16, 2013 08:55 PM :

    Fishing for votes, Dudley? That’s an odd response to someone doing his job. The worst that could happen hasn’t happened yet is not a valid argument for going ahead with a dangerous project, nor is cost a valid argument for endangering lives or the world we live in.

  • Shawn Dade wrote on August 17, 2013 08:43 PM :

    This is good. As a resident in a county on this proposed route and as aKentuckian, this is bad. They want to put this upstream from the water intake for several cities, including bourbon producing counties. The Williams Co. has a terrible safety record, including willfully disregarding their own inspection and safety regulations. There is no economic benefit or public consumption. Andrew Beshear is the attorney for The Williams Co., working for the same firm as his daddy, the governor. Even though he went to Duke, I support Jack Conway if he follows through with this.

  • Corlia Logsdon wrote on August 18, 2013 04:59 PM :

    I applaud Jack Conway standing up for Kentuckians’ rights. He is one of many political figures from all parties who are standing up for citizens. I’m a Kentucky fan too, but I will not hold Duke against him if he does the right thing. :)

  • Dudley gaines wrote on August 20, 2013 02:53 PM :

    Natural gas liquids have many uses plastic bags, propane, home hearing oil, as an additive to gasoline etc. go to US Dept of Energy to learn more. Pipelines are safer than using rail cars or over the road trucking. this pipeline will make us more energy independent and promote a cleaner environment. Ky as of today has roughly 19,000 gas wells. Maybe the problem is the Williams company if that is true find another company. This important to national security to stop, we can either be part of the solution or part of the problem. Three questions that have not been answered by the opponents of this pipeline, what is the alternative, what does the alternative cost, and what is the hard evidence that an alternative would be both safer and more efficient.

  • FracU wrote on August 26, 2013 08:30 PM :

    More energy independent? No. They keep going the wrong direction with the pipelines. East coast imports Saudi oil due to lack of infrastructure. Why send it to Texas? To be exported. Building refineries would make much more sense than sending oil across the country to be made into fuel, then shipping it back to and beyond where it originated.

    National security? Breaking out The Fear so soon? National security needs to secure the criminals who “own” this country and buy the politicians. I am more frightened by the damage they are inflicting than anything a foreign terrorist can come up with.

    Stop bickering with each other and THINK! We are Americans, not liberals or conservatives, or libertarians, or progressives…Americans. This country will never get better if we don’t stop with all the bickering and ALL work together.

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