FRANKFORT — Last week the state House of Representatives passed a measure denying the companies the right of eminent domain, but the bill has not been taken up by the state Senate.
Rep. James Kay, D-Versailles, who represents several private property owners in the path of the propose pipeline route, was happy to hear news of Shepherd’s ruling.
“Judge Shepherd’s ruling is a loud and clear message to other landowners that they can have a level negotiating field,” Kay said.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said Shepherd is “right on the law,” because unlike natural gas pipelines — which supply fuel to heat homes and businesses — the NGL pipeline provides no clear public use.
Tom Droege from the Williams Company said the Bluegrass Pipeline partners disagree with Shepherd’s ruling and plans “to immediately appeal the decision.”
“We continue to purchase easements through face-to-face negotiations with individual landowners, a successful process whereby we’ve acquired nearly 70 percent of the needed route,” he said.
Ronnie Ellis writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at email@example.com. Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cnhifrankfort