By Cara Cooper
It looks like the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline is planning on crossing the Kentucky State University Research Farm. The farm currently has a route mapped out through the property with flags where the pipeline might be built.
There has been no publicity around this and no student input as to whether or not students feel like the pipeline will be worth the risks to the environment and the safety of those working at the farm. We can not let this pipeline be built without adequate student and faculty input!
KSEC is fighting back against this segment of the pipeline. Read the letter that we submitted to the Kentucky State University President and Board of Regents below.
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July 24th, 2013
Dear President Sias and the Kentucky State University Board of Regents,
It has recently come to the attention of the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition that Kentucky State University has already allowed the Bluegrass Pipeline companies to survey the university’s Research and Demonstration Farm and to put up markers for a proposed natural gas liquids pipeline. We believe that allowing this pipeline to be built across public university land is a very bad decision and would like to show our deep concerns by asking that you choose to make the responsible choice of not allowing this to happen.
The Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition is a network of students and organizations from over 12 Kentucky colleges and universities united to advocate for environmental protection and the health and well-being of Kentuckians. We also aim to hold ourselves, our campuses, our communities, the government, and corporations accountable for the impacts on our planet and the injustice placed on many for the wealth of few. We oppose the Bluegrass Pipeline for many reasons, including the fact that the pipeline will have no public benefit for Kentuckians. Natural gas liquids and pipeline transportation systems are dangerous and the extraction and transport of these liquids negatively impacts ecosystems, people, and the climate.
If built the proposed pipeline will be carrying 200,000- 400,000 gallons of natural gas liquids across our beautiful farmlands and over our unique karst landscape. Natural gas liquids (NGLs) are gases such as butane, ethane, and propane and are mostly used in creating plastics. In fact, the majority of these liquids are slated for export once they reach the Gulf Coast. By supporting this pipeline you would be not only supporting the transportation of these dangerous gases through our state, but would also be supporting the export of our natural resources for private gain on the international market. Not to mention the dirty and dangerous “hydraulic fracturing” that is poisoning extraction communities in the Northeast United States.
Our colleges and universities should be the places leading our state and country forward and setting a strong example for others to follow. Many residents are extremely opposed to this pipeline and are fearful not only of the environmental impacts but also for the safety of those living and working near the pipeline route. Pipelines are known to be faulty and accident-prone and we would hope that the university would seriously consider the risks of a pipeline through an area of land where students and professors will be put at risk. It is not okay to jeopardize our collective and your university’s constituents futures for money.
Please consider this letter as our first step in trying to open a dialogue between the university and those who will be most affected by this decision, including your students and faculty as well as neighbors in nearby communities and our coalition. We strongly urge the university to reconsider this decision and to open up this conversation to allow student and faculty input in your final decision.
The Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition
P.S. Here are some links to start your research into the impacts and dangers associated with this pipeline and the frightening record of Williams (one of the pipeline companies).
Recent Accidents at Williams facilities
The Young Kentuckian is a blog of the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition where youth share their work and ideas for Kentucky's bright future.
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