I thought I should include my letter-to-the-editors of several Kentucky newspapers in my blog as a way to keep it out there in Google, Bing, and other searches more easily. 

To Whom It May Concern:

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce recently gave its support to the proposed “Bluegrass Pipeline” which would go through central Kentucky’s beautiful and historic landscape.  The Chamber of Commerce, in general, supports business, I know; but they are com­pletely wrong about the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline and the associated dangers related to it.  They should be opposing the highly likely and potential damage to the Commonwealth of Kentucky and particularly the Bluegrass Region of the state.

This is NOT a LIQUEFIED Natural Gas line as the Williams and Boardwalk Companies try to make people think it is but A LINE TO CARRY explosive and poisonous products that could cause a major explosion and/or poison our entire water supply for a long period of time if it gets into the aquifer. 

Their arguments about the fact that trains, barges, and trucks already carry liquids of this type is moot because, in each of those cases, the leak is easily visible; and is very much localized.  As we know from experience with the Williams Company, leaks occur and can go undetected for weeks while the water supply gets contaminated.  If a truck or barge or train car blows up, in each case it is localized and of limited duration, size,  and explosive­ness to the point of people having advance knowledge as to how much danger it would be.  

There is a 100% chance, based on history, that there will be a leak in this pipeline within 10 years somewhere along its length.  So I would suggest that, if the Chamber of Com­merce supports this very, very, very bad idea, the Board members should consider volunteering their land which would make the pipeline be oriented as close as possible to their homes.  For those on or off the board and for ordinary citizens who authorize the Williams Company’s building of the pipeline through their land these are facts:

Their property values would go down immediately.
The property values of their nearby neighbors would go down immediately.
They are not just authorizing ONE pipeline but giving a right-of-way that will allow addi­tional lines to be stacked with no additional compensation.
They are granting the company access to go driving across their property at any time the company chooses to do so. 
They are endangering themselves and their families and neighbors.

Add to all of that the very real possibility that the bottom will fall out of this market and cause the closing of the pipeline and/or that a devastating explosion or leak could occur that damages the drinking water of almost or perhaps all of Central Kentucky.  The law­suits that would follow would be massive.  The companies owning the pipeline would simply declare bankruptcy (probably after paying out big bonuses to their executives, based on the history of other corporations lately) and leave the citizens of Kentucky with the responsibility and costs of cleaning up the mess, if it is even possible to clean it up.

Another possibility is that, somewhere along the line when earthquakes continue to hap­pen near the fractured natural gas wells, that this method of natural gas production will be forced to cease, again eliminating the profit of the pipeline and any interest Williams and Boardwalk Companies would have in maintaining them versus bankruptcy.

Any potential taxes these companies will pay might help the state in the short run, but the long-term view is more important here.  We are not going to get enough tax, even if ALL of the tax money were kept deposited in an interest-bearing account, to pay for such a devas­tating possibility. 

So it is an economic gamble for the state as well as an environmental gamble.  It is an even bigger gamble for the local homeowners and worse still (since they receive no compensa­tion at all) for their neighbors and the communities along its path.

Again, this is not an LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) pipeline but an NGL (Natural Gas Liq­uids) pipeline.  It can be made safer if we enact very strict rules about its construction and location; but it cannot be made safe, period.  They admit that. 

Quite frankly, I am amazed that the Chamber of Commerce would even consider this to be a positive thing in any way.  They need to do some more research and, again, consider putting that pipeline in their own backyard instead of someone else's.  (And, of course, their neighbors might end up with it in a nearby yard as well.)  In fact, I believe the Chamber is nearly 100% wrong about this being something good for Kentucky economically or in any other way.


Michael Mansfield, BS (MT, ASCP), M.Div.
3500 Versailles Road
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601-8713