Rowan County chapter holds successful community forum on proposed pipeline project

The Rowan County KFTC Chapter hosted a community meeting regarding the Kinder Morgan pipeline repurposing proposal on June 23 in Morehead. 

Rowan County chapter member Ted Withrow and the director of the Kentucky Resources Council, Tom FitzGerald, explained the scope of the project and outlined its significant risks. With the help of moderator Sue Tallichet, another Rowan County chapter member, they entertained a number of questions from the sizable audience, which included the county attorney, the judge-executive and many of the property owners directly affected by the repurposing proposal. 

The wide-ranging discussion repeatedly returned to what individual citizens could do to help stop this project. Audience members were urged to check deeds to see what easement existed for the 20 miles of existing pipeline that cuts through the county, to call and write their state and federal representatives asking them to oppose this project, and to contact the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requesting that an expanded environmental study be part of the decision-making process.

Kinder Morgan wants to re-purpose its pipeline that runs from Louisiana to Ohio from natural gas to hazardous liquids, which are many times more volatile and dangerous. The company was invited to send a representative to the meeting but did not respond.

Attendees also were encouraged to attend the Rowan County chapter’s monthly meetings to help continue work on this important issue.        

The chapter provided informational literature on the pipeline repurposing project and compiled a contact list of those who attended.  With this list, and in concert with Tom FitzGerald, the chapter will keep the community up to date on pipeline developments. They also will produce a series of talking points and contact information for a letter writing campaign against this venture.

At the end of two very productive hours, the audience applauded the efforts of Fitzgerald and the Rowan chapter.

Earlier in the month, the Rowan Fiscal Court approved a resolution opposing the Kinder Morgan re-purposing project. This came after efforts by chapter members to educate the magistrates. When the resolution was first proposed to the court in April, two of the three magistrates were opposed. The June vote was unanimous in support.