FERC Frustrates Kentucky Radicals Seeking to Stop TGP Pipe Reversal

What’s in the water in Kentucky? Seems to be a state full of anti-drilling, anti-pipeline nutters. Kentucky has been responsible for killing at least one pipeline, the Bluegrass Pipeline that would have flowed Marcellus/Utica NGLs (natural gas liquids) all the way to the Gulf Coast (see Bluegrass Pipeline Aborted Before It was Born – RIP). That project would have involved laying 200 miles of new pipeline through Kentucky, and wealthy horse farms would have none of it. Kinder Morgan is making a run at a similar project–but this time the pipeline is already in the ground. Kinder Morgan, as we previously reported, is working on a project to convert 964 miles of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline, part of which runs through Kentucky (KM Plans to Convert Tennessee Gas Pipeline to Flow M-U NGLs South). Kinder wants to reverse the flow of TGP, which currently sends natural gas from the Gulf Coast to the northeast, turning it around and sending natural gas liquids from the Marcellus/Utica to the Gulf Coast. The first step in the process was recently approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (see FERC Advances Plan to Reverse Part of TGP to Haul M-U NGLs to Gulf). Antis in Kentucky have their bluegrass knickers in a twist over FERC’s action. They’ve filed a request for “rehearing” of FERC’s decision, which is the first step in a process that will end up in court. First the aggrieved party must request a rehearing. If FERC denies the request, the antis (using Big Green money) then file a lawsuit in federal Appeals Court to try and stop FERC from continuing to approve the project. Normally FERC has 30 days to decide on a rehearing, however, they have a little tactic they call a “tolling order” which allows them to extend the amount of time to make a rehearing decision–indefinitely. FERC has pulled out the tolling order card and played it with the TGP project–and that has the Kentucky nutters fuming…

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