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Ohio Utica Shale

No eminent domain in Kentucky for Bluegrass Pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: September 9, 2013

From the Associated Press:

A private company that wants to build a pipeline to carry natural gas liquids across Kentucky can't use eminent domain to obtain the right of way, a ranking state official said Thursday.

Kentucky Energy Secretary Len Peters told a legislative committee that his legal staff, after careful analysis, reached that conclusion regarding the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline project, which he described as "one of the most difficult and controversial issues that we have faced in the commonwealth in quite some time."

"Based on this research, relative to federal law and statutes and how natural gas liquid pipelines are regulated, they do not see how eminent domain can be invoked," Peters said.

The position differs from that of company executives who insisted Thursday that the companies do have authority to use eminent domain to obtain right of way if landowners are unwilling to cooperate.

The Bluegrass Pipeline, being built by Williams Co. of Oklahoma and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners of Texas, would cross northern and central Kentucky, carrying a liquid byproduct of the natural gas refining process that's used to make plastics, medical supplies and carpet, among other products. It would also cross Ohio.

Land owners and environmental activists have fought furiously against the pipeline, citing concerns about potential leaks.

The Bluegrass Pipeline controversy is an extension of an environmental debate raging in several states over fracking, a process in which water and sand are injected into underground shale to push out oil and gas. The flammable liquids that would travel through the Kentucky pipeline would come from fracking sites in the Marcellus and Utica shale gas areas in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Boardwalk general counsel Mike McMahon said the companies "have not landed on a precise route" for the pipeline in Kentucky, though he said work is under way to do that.





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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.