Conway says he has concerns about proposed Bluegrass Pipeline
08/15/2013 01:58 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.”
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