By Brittany Anderson
Kyle is set to receive its second and final payment of $1.35 million from Kinder Morgan for the Permian Highway Pipeline.
The 430-mile long, 42-inch natural gas pipeline goes through Hays County, including the south side of Kyle.
Allen Fore, Vice President of Public Affairs for Kinder Morgan, presented city council with information on the settlement during the regular city council meeting on Nov. 16.
The pipeline was initially met with safety and environmental concerns from both the council and Hill Country community when the process began in late 2018. In response, the settlement agreement between the city and Kinder Morgan provides protections to the city regarding how the pipeline affects existing infrastructure and future development projects. In addition to the total $2.7 million payment to the city, Kinder Morgan is not allowed to convert the pipeline from natural gas to crude oil.
The city received its first payment of $1.35 million in December 2020; during the meeting, Fore said that the other $1.35 million payment is being sent. Funds from the settlement have gone towards local park improvements.
Fore commended council members and city staff for being “engaged and assertive” in understanding the many regulations on a state and federal level involved in the expansion of infrastructure, and that other jurisdictions will look to Kyle because of this.
“Whenever we start an infrastructure project, and I know you know this as a city, it’s controversial,” Fore said. “When you expand anything it’s controversial. There are a lot of strong opinions about our energy infrastructure [natural gas]and the use of those fuels in the future.”
Fore said that along with having a positive economic development component, one of the lasting values of the project is the supply of natural gas, adding that natural gas accessibility was a huge benefit during Winter Storm Uri in February 2021.
“Energy analysts in the last winter storm cited this pipeline as a reason there wasn’t a broader failure of energy supply to the Austin metropolitan area,” Fore said. “That’s because of the enormous supply this brings through the hill country.”
The pipeline entered full service on Jan. 1, 2021 and carries natural gas from west to east Texas.