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Mon April 28, 2014
Energy Companies Halt Bluegrass Pipeline Project Citing Low Customer Committment
Two companies funding the controversial Bluegrass Pipeline have announced that they're halting the project after receiving insufficient customer support to continue.
Williams Co. and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners posted a joint statement on the Bluegrass Pipeline project website saying that they will no longer be investing additional capitol into moving the project further.
The post stated:
"Recently, we reached a point in the development of the project where we needed to make some important decisions about timing and additional investment. While data show there will soon be a need for a large-scale solution like Bluegrass Pipeline to meet market needs, potential customers to-date have so far chosen to focus on local solutions. As a result, we continue to pursue support for the project, but we are exercising capital discipline and not investing additional capital at this time. In short, Bluegrass Pipeline appears to be a project that’s ahead of its time."
Stan Horton with Boardwalk Pipeline Partners says his company, along with Williams Co. is still engaged in discussions with potential liquid natural gas customers.
"The Bluegrass and Moss Lake projects are not dead," said Horton in a conference call with investors Monday morning. "We are no longer funding any capital for those projects, but the joint venture between us and Williams is still in place."
The Bluegrass Pipeline project had drawn heavy opposition from environmental groups and some residents in the path of the project. It also sparked a debate in the state legislature concerning the rights of private companies to use eminent domain.
A Woodford County woman who represents several groups opposed to the Bluegrass Pipeline says while she’s happy about today’s announcement, the need for new laws related to eminent domain continues.
“And we also know there’s a continued threat from fracking and infrastructure in Kentucky," said Corlia Logsdon. "We know that that is not going away just because the Bluegrass Pipeline is tabled for now.”
Logsdon says her home and property would have been affected by the pipeline project. She says she plans to continue lobbying lawmakers and other state government agencies for stronger property rights laws that would protect landowners if the companies behind the Bluegrass Pipeline resurrect the project.
The pipeline was supposed to connect natural gas producers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia with export centers on the Gulf Coast.