‘I don’t believe it’s in until it’s in’: Gillespie County landowner still fighting pipeline

‘I don’t believe it’s in until it’s in’: Gillespie County landowner still fighting pipeline

“This is Texas, by God. I am fifth generation Texan and I am not going to roll over for a multi-billion dollar company,” says Kay Pence. She has been fighting Kinder Morgan for more than a year now. The company offered her $45,000 to run part of the Permian Highway Pipeline through her property. “Our appraisal is based on what we’ll actually be physically touching,” explains Allen Fore, Kinder Morgan vice president of public affairs. Pence and many other landowners…

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Report: Texas ranks second in budget cuts for environmental protection

Report: Texas ranks second in budget cuts for environmental protection

In the past decade, a historic industrial buildout has taken hold in Texas — thanks to the fracking revolution — and has created vast wealth and greatly increased the need for government permitting of new facilities, as well as pollution monitoring. But during the same time period, Texas lawmakers cut funding to the state agency responsible for doing those things by 35%, according to a new report from the Environmental Integrity Project, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit founded by former U.S.…

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Q&A+water: Katherine Romans

Q&A+water: Katherine Romans

Executive Director of the Hill Country Alliance In this issue’s Q&A, Texas+Water Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Todd Votteler, interviews Katherine Romans, Executive Director of the Hill Country Alliance, a regional nonprofit focused on protecting the water, land, communities and night skies of the Texas Hill Country. She has more than a decade of nonprofit and legislative experience in natural resource issues and holds a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Romans serves on the board…

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Hill Country landowners say Kinder Morgan is lowballing them. Special courts are agreeing.

Hill Country landowners say Kinder Morgan is lowballing them. Special courts are agreeing.

Kay Pence owns a ranch in the Hill Country town of Fredericksburg. About a year ago, she got a call from the pipeline company Kinder Morgan. The caller told her the company planned to run a section of its 430-mile Permian Highway natural gas pipeline through her property. Pence didn’t like that. “This is going to sound overreactive, but you felt violated,” Pence says. “They have access to your property, and there was nothing you could do.” In Texas, pipeline…

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Pipeline opponents focus on ESA: Agencies put on notice to comply with law or be sued

Pipeline opponents focus on ESA: Agencies put on notice to comply with law or be sued

Opponents of Kinder Morgan’s routing of its Permian Highway Pipeline (PHP) have put two federal agencies on notice – either comply with existing federal law or face legal action. In one of the latest challenges to the 435-mile, 42-inch natural gas pipeline, which is planned to cross the recharge zone of the Edwards Aquifer, the focus has turned to the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Last month, the T.R.E.A.D. Coalition (Texas Real Estate Advocacy & Defense Coalition), along with the cities…

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The long battle to stop the Kinder Morgan Pipeline

The long battle to stop the Kinder Morgan Pipeline

In 1975, Terese Hershey, one of the state’s most influential conservationists, purchased a 1,561-acre tract of land in Stonewall, Texas. For years, she protected the property from the encroachment of nearby development. She worked with The Hill Country Land Trust to establish a conservation easement and turned to Andrew Sansom, a former Texas Parks and Wildlife director, to manage the land with his wife, Nona. In the past eight years, the Sansoms have cleared more than 1,020 acres of cedar…

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Landowners got one Hill Country oil pipeline moved. But can they do it again?

Landowners got one Hill Country oil pipeline moved. But can they do it again?

A month after news surfaced that a pipeline proposed by a Texas-based petroleum juggernaut would run across the Edwards Aquifer, the primary source of water for San Antonio and other cities, the company said it would shift the pipeline’s path. It was a difference of approximately 65 miles, and Hill Country residents opposing the project cheered the change—a major victory given that the oil and gas industry typically doesn’t kowtow to landowners’ concerns. So why the monumental move by Enterprise…

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Opinion: Vote ‘No’ on pipelines in Texas in coming elections

Opinion: Vote ‘No’ on pipelines in Texas in coming elections

Another pipeline battle is raging in our backyards. With a major election cycle churning, Texans have the chance to vote out fossil fuel protectors and imagine a new environmental future. The Permian Highway Pipeline, or PHP, has captured fewer headlines than other contentious projects, such as the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. However, those concerned about water quality in Texas and those demanding a decisive shift away from reliance on oil and gas must keep their sights on the…

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City of San Marcos joins litigation against federal agencies regarding Permian Hwy Pipeline

City of San Marcos joins litigation against federal agencies regarding Permian Hwy Pipeline

The City of San Marcos has joined the cities of Kyle and Austin and the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District and the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association in filing a lawsuit against federal agencies regarding Kinder Morgan’s pipeline. On Tuesday, the San Marcos City Council held an executive session to receive legal counsel regarding the Kinder Morgan Pipeline. According to the City of San Marcos, “The San Marcos City Council, in a unanimous vote, has authorized environmental attorney William S.…

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Our area, our culture and our ‘First freedoms’

Our area, our culture and our ‘First freedoms’

Last week, I had the opportunity to represent our fine town on a media panel as part of the Hill Country Alliance Leadership Summit held at Camp Lucy near Dripping Springs. Several other Fredericksburgers were there to represent their interests in keeping this beautiful Hill Country from being overrun with development, and helping keep our waters clean, our night skies clear and our land in its native state (as much as possible). HCA focuses on all these issues, while being…

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