Due to a heat index exceeding 90 degrees, the Millennium Trail and Elm Lick Trail will remain closed until further notice.

Natural Gas Pipeline FAQ’s, November 2022

By Andrew Berry

Looking toward the route of the proposed pipeline

When and how did this begin?

  • In spring 2019 LG&E continued to ignore climate and clean energy initiatives by unveiling a plan to the public to construct a new 12-mile natural gas pipeline across Bullitt County.
  • They chose a route that would cut across numerous natural lands including Bernheim’s Cedar Grove Wildlife Corridor, a protected and critical habitat in the northern section of Bernheim.
  • LG&E then sued Bernheim and many of our neighbors to take private property through eminent domain.

 

Why is Bernheim opposed to the pipeline?

  • This is bigger than Bernheim and has a ripple effect for generations. It is about holding LG&E accountable to implement clean energy projects, protecting landowner property rights, setting sustainable development goals that keep natural lands intact, fostering human health, and slowing climate change through positive actions here in Kentucky.
  • It would destroy forest and aquatic habitat: the proposed route cuts across a protected wildlife corridor, which is crucial habitat for many animals including rare and endangered bats and snails.
  • The pipeline would pump hydrocarbons for 70+ years, at a time when we should eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions within the next 20 years to slow and mitigate climate change.
  • If LG&E is allowed to take this land, it would break a conservation easement and deed restrictions that are in place to protect the land for generations to come.
  • If this conservation easement is broken, it may set a legal precedent that could weaken all other conservation land protections in the state.
The pipeline would have a negative effect on the springs and streams along the propose route

What has been gained by this sustained opposition to the proposed natural gas pipeline?

  • By opposing the proposed pipeline, Bernheim has elevated conversations and issues including:
    • Rapidly changing land use and landowner rights
    • The human-caused climate crisis and the urgency to decarbonize the economy
    • Decline of species due to habitat loss
    • Inadequate protection of clean water in state regulations
    • The goal of creating a vibrant and sustainable economy where humans and nature coexist
    • The importance of Bernheim for nature and the health of our communities

How can you help?

  • Elevate your voice in support of clean energy and holding LG&E accountable for climate initiatives.
  • Donate to Bernheim’s Land Stewardship and Defense Fund at forestunderthreat.com.
  • Sign the petition at forestunderthreat.com.
  • Write letters and or make phone calls to (click here for contact information):
    • Andy Beshear, Governor of Kentucky
    • Kent Chandler, Chair of the Public Service Commission
    • John Crockett, President of LG&E/KU
    • Vincent Sorgi, President and CEO of PPL Corporation (LG&E’s parent company)

 

When will this end?

  • Even when the legal issues are resolved, work to promote clean energy initiatives and protect natural land never ends. Other pressures, like climate instability and unplanned and unsustainable sprawl of communities around Bernheim without the balance of conservation efforts, will remain after a legal resolution.
  • Your support is critical to our mission. Bernheim will continue to provide clean air, clean and abundant water, rich biodiversity and natural beauty for future generations so they may live healthier, more productive, and fulfilling lives.

 

The Cedar Grove Wildlife Corridor

What happens if Bernheim wins the case?

  • Climate, environmental, and clean energy advocates will have won a huge victory at a critical time for our planet and communities.
  • Bernheim will continue to protect a forest block that will serve as a wildlife corridor and provide habitat for countless species for generations to come.
  • The conservation easement and deed restrictions will hold firm, strengthening all conservation easements and protected areas in the state.
  • Perhaps LG&E and parent company PP&L will take sustainability more seriously and put together a real plan to decarbonize. Their current plan neglected to mention their desire to build two new gas burning power plants and relies on the dreams of engineered carbon capture and sequestration.

 

What happens if LG&E wins the case?

  • If LG&E successfully takes Bernheim land and the other necessary land from neighboring landowners, they will begin construction on a 12-mile natural gas pipeline.
  • This pipeline would break up a mostly intact forest, destroy habitat and migration routes for countless wildlife, and impact clean streams for decades.
  • LG&E would have unrestricted access to the condemned pipeline route and easement location in perpetuity.
  • Bernheim would work diligently to mitigate damage and ensure long term integrity of land adjacent to pipeline easement. This will be a forever responsibility, with future uses and impacts of this proposed pipeline easement largely unknown.
  • Due to sustained opposition to this proposed pipeline, the Center for Biological Diversity has threatened to sue the U.S. Army Corps of engineers and the Fish and Wildlife Service to improve the methods they use to survey and determine project impacts on populations of rare and endangered species. A reevaluation of those methodologies is occurring nationwide. This alone may be a lasting contribution to rare and endangered species protections.

 

Why This Matters:

  • Bernheim protects Bullitt County’s irreplaceable natural resources, including forests, streams, springs and the wildlife they support. We work to protect and manage land that our ecosystems and communities need to be healthy. Our natural heritage is what we have inherited from past generations and what we will pass to future generations. Once it’s bulldozed, built on or destroyed in other ways, it is lost forever.

 

 

 

 

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