Hill Country landowners fight for land in proposed gas pipeline’s path

Hill Country landowners flooded a Travis County courtroom Tuesday hoping to thwart the construction of a natural gas pipeline they say poses safety risks and drives down the values of their multi-million dollar properties.

Sitting shoulder to shoulder and wearing “Save the Water” stickers, dozens of landowners grumbled as lawyers for Houston-based Kinder Morgan, which plans to route the $2 billion Permian Highway Pipeline Project through their backyards, downplayed potential health hazards, or referenced the power they say the company has through the state constitution to seize lands they desire for the project.

Kinder Morgan says the pipeline would safely move natural gas from the Permian Basin in West Texas to a growing market along the Gulf Coast. After ruling out other routes the company said would have caused too much disruption to the environment, it decided to place the 42-inch steel pipeline through agricultural lands in Gillespie, Blanco, Hays and Caldwell counties.

The company is set to break ground this fall and have the pipeline in service by late 2020.

Read more from Ryan Autullo with the Statesman here