Major pipelines hit legal snags. But it’s business as usual in Texas.

Major pipelines hit legal snags. But it’s business as usual in Texas.

Early on, Kinder Morgan faced opposition from individuals, local governments and conservation groups. EHN visited Hill Country—a unique landscape known for its rolling terrain in central Texas—and found that environmentalists and some who are pro-development had gained a common enemy. A barrage of lawsuits in Hill Country challenged the company, as well as the Railroad Commission of Texas and the Army Corps of Engineers, which are both responsible for permitting and oversight. But the project broke ground last year, with…

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After Willie Nelson and Paul Simon complained, CEO agrees to reroute Hill Country pipeline

After Willie Nelson and Paul Simon complained, CEO agrees to reroute Hill Country pipeline

After a pipeline drilling mishap in March that led to a spill of tens of thousands of gallons of slurry into an underground aquifer in Blanco County, muddying nearby wells, the CEO of a natural gas pipeline company now says he is rerouting the pipeline around — rather than under — the Blanco River. In an opinion piece in the Houston Chronicle this week, Steven Kean, chief executive of Houston-based pipeline company Kinder Morgan, said that “we have decided that…

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A pause for energy developers threatening Texas Big Bend Region

A pause for energy developers threatening Texas Big Bend Region

Three years ago the U.S. Department of Agriculture counted 80,000 head of cattle grazing the sea of golden grass across Brewster, Presidio, and Jeff Davis counties in dry, open and captivating West Texas. That’s more than four times the number of people living in a region as big as Maryland… It’s hard country, too. Household incomes are low. Droughts are an episodic hazard. Ranching is a tough business. The tourist trade is a six-month deal. The three counties, according to…

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Texas Hill Country pipeline project moves forward, despite pleas from Willie Nelson and Paul Simon

Texas Hill Country pipeline project moves forward, despite pleas from Willie Nelson and Paul Simon

Houston pipeline operator Kinder Morgan moved forward on a controversial natural gas pipeline through the Texas Hill Country the same day that legendary musicians Willie Nelson and Paul Simon issued a public plea for the company to halt the project. Nelson, also known as the Red-Headed Stranger, and Simon on Tuesday voiced their opposition to the Permian Highway Pipeline in op-ed in the Houston Chronicle. The pipeline is a $2 billion project to move 2 billion cubic feet of natural…

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Willie Nelson and Paul Simon: Save Texas Hill Country and stop the Permian Highway Pipeline

Willie Nelson and Paul Simon: Save Texas Hill Country and stop the Permian Highway Pipeline

The Texas Hill Country is a gift from Mother Nature. Sprawling over 986 square miles in the heart of the state, it is a wonder of rolling grasslands, pastures of pecan, mesquite, desert willow and oak. Fields of bluebonnet, the state flower, line the highways. The region is a pristine, bio-diverse ecological gem, one of the most treasured landscapes of the American Southwest. But the pride and lifeblood of this unique part of the world are the granite and karst…

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Win for Texas landowner in pipeline condemnation appeal

Win for Texas landowner in pipeline condemnation appeal

Recently, the First District Court of Appeals in Houston sided with a landowner who challenged the eminent domain authority of a pipeline company seeking to condemn property.  The case is important for landowners and helps to further flesh out the facts that a pipeline company must be able to show in order to be a “common carrier” and illustrates some considerations in proving fair market value.  [Read full opinion here.] The Hlavinkas own 15,000-16,000 acres of land in Brazoria County,…

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Reclamation soil testing campaign

Reclamation soil testing campaign

Press Release: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Gillespie County – For Immediate Release: June 29, 2020 Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will be hosting a Reclamation Soil Testing Campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to make sure we have the best environment for new seedling grasses to survive and thrive in. This will increase our chances of establishment of desirable plant communities and therefore hopefully reduce erosion and runoff of previously disturbed soil. The testing campaign will be…

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Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District emergency information for well owners

Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District emergency information for well owners

Press Release: Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District – For Immediate Release: July 10, 2020 Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District well owners, The Kinder Morgan Pipeline Company is constructing a large natural gas pipeline from west to east through central Hays County that will convey 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from the Permian Basin to the Houston area. The pipeline will pass directly over terrain that is highly porous and vulnerable to surface contamination. District geologists have…

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Grim day for pipelines shows they’re almost impossible to build

Grim day for pipelines shows they’re almost impossible to build

To be an energy superpower, U.S. oil and natural gas requires a suitably gargantuan pipeline network that stretches for millions of miles. The country’s ability to expand that infrastructure is being tested like never before. In the span of less than 24 hours, a court ordered the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline to shut down and the developers of the Atlantic Coast gas conduit said they were canceling the project. It was a deluge of bad news for an industry…

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A pipeline poisons the wells in Hill Country

A pipeline poisons the wells in Hill Country

From the moment Kinder Morgan and its business partners announced that their 430-mile Permian Highway Pipeline would cross the Texas Hill Country, landowners, environmentalists, elected officials and groundwater protection agencies along or near the route have fought tooth and nail to move it or stop it. And they openly warned of the precise danger landowners such as Albright now face: disturbing the “karst” features below their property. Like underground Swiss cheese, they serve as conduits for groundwater that, in a…

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