That pipe dream is broken, Kinder Morgan

With the wide variety of political ideologies rooted across Hays County these days, it can be hard to find a topic that bridges the masses.

Thank you, Kinder Morgan, for bringing us all together like no Hollywood blockbuster or elected official can.

At its very core, Kinder Morgan’s proposed $2 billion 42-inch, 430-mile Permian Highway Pipeline is a tough sell for any entity, much less a multi-million dollar, Wall Street Dow Jones Industrial company, to pull off.

Doing so utilizing heavy-handed tactics such as eminent domain to acquire the land for the pipeline further places them on the deep end of the unpopularity pool. They could practically wave hello to Electro Purification.   

What Kinder Morgan is asking for (read: demanding) greatly outweighs any potential benefits that arise from such an ambitious – and we do mean ambitious – project.

Trying to get buy-in from your everyday run-of-the-mill landowner to give up a piece of their property in perpetuity to green light construction of a massive underground natural gas pipeline just isn’t going to jive.

The key difference is we’re dealing with Texans here – the purveyors of unadulterated property rights. We’re dealing with people who, in some cases, are in charge of virgin land that’s been passed down from generation to generation, going as far back as the Texas Revolution itself.

For Kinder Morgan to try and sell a pipeline that could irrevocably impact the feel and function of the pristine Texas Hill Country, as well as potentially set a dangerous precedent for the future of landowner rights, feels almost sacrilegious.

Quite frankly, it’s just so un-Texan for a company whose headquarters are in Houston to try and make happen. It feels more like a cash-grab, rather than providing the necessary infrastructure to give Texans resources they require. 

It’s hard to support Kinder Morgan’s initiative and plans for its proposed pipeline. That’s why many of us at Barton Publications are opposed to a project that could greatly impact development and growth in Hays County for generations to come.

Well intentioned as the PHP might be, Kinder Morgan’s aggressive approach for a project that should require more than a year or so of public input and stakeholder outreach is incredibly off-putting.

More time is needed to talk about this. More time is needed to make sure people, property, and most importantly our natural resources, aren’t going to be adversely affected.

More time might not be available for Kinder Morgan, which is aiming to start construction by June 2019 and the pipeline operational by late 2020.

Trying to rush the process, however, isn’t going to help, no matter how many public input meetings are held.

Problems with the process is starting to reach elected officials, who are throwing their hats into the great pipeline fight of 2019.

In recent weeks, Kyle formally filed its opposition to the project in the form of a resolution.

On Tuesday, Hays County Commissioners followed suit and did the very same thing. Several local state officials, including State Rep. Erin Zwiener, have filed legislation to prevent companies such as Kinder Morgan from attempting a similar tactic in the future.

The ball is now in Kinder Morgan’s court.

One would hope conventional wisdom enters the mind of Kinder Morgan officials, who should consider it time to rethink, and readjust, their original timeframe.

Perhaps it’s time for them to start thinking about another route to take, one that might not have as much of an impact than the current one?

Or maybe it might be the right time to scrap the project altogether, mostly due to the amount of negativity surrounding what they’re attempting to bring.

The time for talk is almost over and the majority people have spoken.

Kinder Morgan’s project going through the Hill Country? That pipe dream is broken.

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