Kinder Morgan ignores hard questions on pipeline plan

Published 8:31 am Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Dear Editor,

Recently, as I was listening to a weekly call-in show on NPR, I heard a woman express an inability to understand how the driver of a truck or van could deliberately ram into and kill pedestrians in a broad and busy boulevard in a European city. She kept asking, in effect, “How could he push forward when he saw the people in front of him? How could he keep pushing forward when the truck slammed into the first bodies?” It’s a haunting question.

Quickly, however, I found myself asking the same question in another context: “How could Kinder-Morgan push forward with its pipeline project through Boyle County?” Charles Gregory Higdon’s recent letter to the editor of the Advocate-Messenger provided a clue to the answer.

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Higdon, president and CEO of Kentucky Association of Manufacturers, claimed that NGLs (natural gas liquids, which the pipeline would carry) have become “a major feedstock for the petroleum industry, which in turn, is driving a renaissance for U.S. manufacturing.” He asserts further that demand for NGLs has been increasing, that the project may help “spur more investment from the petrochemical industry” and create jobs. He adds that Kinder Morgan is “one of the most reputable pipeline operators in the nation.” In short, Kinder-Morgan’s reasons for wanting to “push forward” are economic.

That response, however, does not answer the following questions: “Why would Kinder-Morgan push forward its project using a pipeline built 70 years ago, according to lower standards, for gas rather than a liquid (which is heavier), through karst (an unsubstantial matrix), near an elementary school, and under a lake that supplies water for a large area that includes Danville? Kinder-Morgan does not answer those questions because it must know that there are simply no good answers to those questions. Its best strategy is simply to try to change the subject. It’s the only way it can “push forward” its “truck” through Danville’s “boulevard.”

Milton Scarborough