Friday, May 22, 2015

Kentucky Landowners Deal MotherFrackers a Setback

Do you like your backyard?  Do you prefer it not have a giant, ready-to-explode high-pressure pipeline full of toxic waste running through it? Then thank Kentuckians United to Restrain Eminent Domain (KURED), who just won a victory over the Bluegrass Pipeline terrorists.

Today, the Kentucky Court of Appeals upheld the Franklin Circuit Court ruling from last year that purveyors of fracking waste, oil, gas or anything else that is not a public utility cannot use eminent domain to force their way onto your land.

Renowned environmental attorney Tom Fitzgerald, representing KURED and Franklin County landowner Penny Greathouse, sued to stop the Bluegrass Pipeline from using the threat of eminent domain to terrify landowners from Pendleton County to Marion County into signing over their land for a toxic-waste pipeline.

Although the initial ruling by Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd applied only to Franklin County, today's Court of Appeals decision applies throughout the Commonwealth.

That means that Kinder Morgan, which is trying to get federal approval to re-purpose a pipeline through east-central Kentucky to carry fracking waste, also cannot use eminent domain powers to force easements from landowners.

Bluegrass Partners, whose Bluegrass Pipeline project has been suspended for the last year, may still appeal to the state Supreme Court.

But meanwhile, this is a victory for genuine grassroots organizing and determination.  KURED members are not out-of-state groups or politicians or celebrities; they are the people whose land Bluegrass Partners threaten: retired people, farmers, women religious, young couples who started asking their neighbors about these strangers with the lying faces and the papers to sign.  They got together, educated themselves, found landowners threatened in other counties, stood together and shouted NO!

And won.

No comments: