Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says he hasn’t made up his mind about whether a proposed natural gas liquids pipeline would benefit Kentucky.
If it’s built, the Bluegrass Pipeline would carry natural gas liquids—like butane and ethane—from drilling operations in the Northeast to processing plants on the Gulf of Mexico. Representatives from pipeline company Williams have been surveying in the state for the past several months, but the pipeline has met opposition from groups and citizens who say current regulations aren’t adequate.
Governor Beshear didn’t heed the calls from environmental groups to put pipeline issues on the agenda for last month’s special session, but says he’d like to see the General Assembly take it up in January. Despite evidence that Williams is hoping to begin negotiating purchase agreements with landowners as soon as this month, Beshear says he doesn’t believe January is too late to resolve these issues, and he hasn’t made up his mind about whether the pipeline would benefit Kentucky.
“You know I’m gathering information on the pros and cons of this particular type of pipeline,” he said. “Obviously there would be construction jobs that would employ Kentuckians, and there would be lease payments that I guess landowners would get. But I’m trying to see if there are any other benefits to Kentucky.”
Also unresolved is the issue of whether Williams could invoke the power of eminent domain for the pipeline.
Beshear’s son, Andrew Beshear, is providing legal counsel to one of the companies developing the pipeline. The governor’s office has previously said there is no conflict of interest.