Kyle says no

Opposition to a proposed 430-mile underground natural gas pipeline has now extended to Kyle City Hall. 

On Tuesday, the Kyle City Council approved by 6-0 vote a resolution against construction of Kinder Morgan’s Permian Highway Pipeline, which is slated to bisect Hays County. Officials hope the resolution pushes state officials to put a stop to construction of the pipeline. 

The PHP is a 42-inch, 430-mile proposed underground natural gas pipeline that will begin in west Texas and end near the Houston area. However, the pipeline has been embroiled in controversy as many local residents and groups worry the current route could impact homes, ranches, farms and native species in the Texas Hill Country. 

Kyle City Council members worried the pipeline could cut directly through multiple Kyle properties and future land projects.

“This resolution is not legally binding,” said Mayor Travis Mitchell. “But I definitely believe it reflects the views of every single man, woman and child in the City of Kyle.” 

During public comment, several Kyle residents spoke against the pipeline, citing their properties will be affected should the project move forward. 

“It’s not time to be quiet, it’s not time to sit back and let other people address the issue,” said council member Alex Villalobos. “Now is the time to be active against this and engage our citizens.”

Council member Tracy Scheel said her biggest concern for the pipeline is its proposed “evacuation zone.” Should the pipeline malfunction or an issue arise, Center Street and south of the area would be evacuated. 

According to the resolution, there is little legal regulation on the pipeline and similar projects. Per the resolution, Kyle officials believe the lack of regulation will damage the area’s natural resources and impact citizens’ property. 

Kyle’s resolution will be delivered to the Texas Senate; officials will also request the state side with citizens against the pipeline and adopt legislation regulating similar projects in the future. 

According to the resolution, the city requests that the state consider establishing a process that allows landowners a voice in the placement of oil and natural gas pipelines in Texas. 

The resolution also calls for Environmental and Economic Impact Studies for intra-state oil and gas pipelines. Council also seeks for the state to establish governmental oversight over the power of eminent domain.

Kinder Morgan reports that it uses eminent domain rules in worst case scenarios, citing that the company is able to make agreements with the majority of landowners it has worked with. 

Kyle residents have expressed that they are not interested in these agreements, and urged council to work against the pipeline entirely.

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