natural gas

Ryan Van Velzer

When the state of Kentucky pays to conserve natural areas, it tries to protect that land forever.

Now for first time in nearly 30 years, the power of those protections could be tested in the fight over the future of Bernheim Forest’s Cedar Grove wildlife corridor, according to state environmental advocates.

 


Ryan Van Velzer

Acts of civil disobedience against pipeline operations in Kentucky would be considered a felony under legislation filed ahead of the 2020 regular session.

The measure comes less than a month after one person was killed and six more were injured in a large pipeline explosion south of Danville, Kentucky. It also comes shortly after Louisville Gas & Electric began pursuing eminent domain actions to build a natural gas pipeline in northern Bullitt County.


Ryan Van Velzer

The self-proclaimed “World’s Longest Yard Sale” cuts straight through Kentucky on Highway 127. The nearly 700 mile yard sale is almost as long as the 77-year-old section of pipeline that carries natural gas through the state. And in the early hours of August 1, hours before the yard sale was set to begin, part of that pipeline exploded just off of Highway 127 near Danville.

Brian Wade and his fiancée Roxann Brasfield had just set up for the yard sale and decided to stay the night in the greenhouse of Wade’s nursery business to keep an eye on their belongings.


White House video

President Donald Trump Tuesday toured Shell Chemical’s soon-to-be completed ethane cracker complex in Monaca, Pennsylvania, to tout his administration’s commitment to expanding energy production. The facility is part of what industry boosters hope will be a new plastics and chemical manufacturing base in the upper Ohio Valley, but many residents here worry about the heat-trapping gases and plastic waste such an industry would produce.

Speaking to a crowd of a few thousand construction workers, Trump said investment in plastics and other petrochemical plants in the Ohio Valley could greatly benefit the region. He touted the vast reserves of natural gas and natural gas liquids contained in the Marcellus Shale, which extends throughout much of the Appalachian basin.

Erica Peterson

The natural gas explosion that killed one and injured six near Danville, Kentucky left behind a crater 50-feet long and 13-feet deep.

The concussive force from the blast was so great, federal regulators shut down two nearby pipelines to inspect them for damage. In the explosion’s wake, flames as tall as 300 feet scorched homes, railroad tracks, trees and vegetation for 30 acres around the site.

Investigators have not yet found the cause of last week’s explosion, but the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration released its preliminary findings in a corrective action report Thursday.

Erica Peterson

Federal investigators have taken over the site of Thursday’s natural gas pipeline explosion that killed one person and left five injured south of Danville.

The blast ejected 30 feet of pipeline into the air, scorched railroad tracks and burned mobile homes, forcing the evacuation of about 75 people after midnight on Thursday morning. Firefighters battled the 300-foot blaze for hours before extinguishing it.

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board took over the scene Thursday and will begin looking for a cause.

WFPL News

Louisville Gas & Electric plans to begin suing landowners who refuse to sell their property for the construction of an underground natural gas pipeline through northern Bullitt County.

The utility will begin filing condemnation proceedings in an effort to purchase the remaining 15 percent of land needed to begin construction, according to a Wednesday press release.

LG&E says it’s run out of capacity on the current gas pipeline and needs to build a second 12-mile-long pipeline in order to keep up with growth in the area around Mt. Washington, Shepherdsville, Clermont and Lebanon Junction.

Ryan Van Velzer

A green darner dragonfly buzzes over the waters emanating from the base of the knobs in the Cedar Grove wildlife corridor.

Above the spring, a millipede trudges over a mossy log teeming with mushrooms. A few feet away, in the loamy soil of the hillside, Bernheim Arboretum’s Conservation Director Andrew Berry points to the spot where they found a rare cave snail.

Then he dips his fingers into the creek.

“This water is coming out of an aquifer. You can feel it and feel how cold it is,” Berry said.


Erica Peterson

The city of Danville has for years fought one of the country’s largest owners of oil and gas pipelines to block a controversial project that runs through an elementary school, a main thoroughfare and the city’s water supply.

The proposal would have reversed the flow of the existing Tennessee Gas Pipeline and converted it from carrying natural gas to more hazardous byproducts called natural gas liquids.

Now Kinder Morgan has announced plans to scrap the project saying it will continue to provide natural gas service. The pipeline travels through 18 Kentucky counties stretching from the Ohio state border in the northeast to the Tennessee border in the south.

Vectren

The Evansville energy company that serves 145,000 customers in southwestern Indiana has released a transition plan that phases out most coal-fired power and replaces it with natural gas and solar.

Vectren says its plan will reduce carbon emissions by 60 percent by retiring three coal-fired plants and retrofitting one remaining coal unit so it's in compliance with Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

Fracking Waste Disposal: Still A Hot Mess

Feb 16, 2018
Bill Hughes

The slogan for Estill County is “where the bluegrass kisses the mountains.” But since 2015 the county, population 15,000, is widely known as the place where radioactive material generated by the oil and gas industry in a process known as fracking was dumped near some schools.

As the Ohio Valley ReSource reported in 2016, tons of waste from the drilling practice known as fracking was hauled from state to state before being improperly disposed of in a county landfill not designed to hold radioactive material.


Kenn W. Kiser, morgueFile.com

A bipartisan group in Congress, including several Ohio Valley lawmakers, is pushing for more federal support for technology known as carbon capture and storage. The lawmakers and an uncommon alliance of labor, business, and environmental groups want to pass legislation called the FUTURE Act which would speed commercial deployment of technology that reduces carbon dioxide emissions from industries that burn fossil fuels.

Such technology has been in development for decades. Today, a number of projects show various methods are possible to “scrub” CO2 from the waste stream and store it underground. However, it is still prohibitively expensive to scale up those projects to the level needed to affect the global output of carbon pollution.


Jesse Wright, WVPB

Big-ticket gas pipelines and other energy projects pending in the Ohio Valley have largely been in limbo because the federal body that issues important permits had too many empty seats.

Those projects in the pipeline of the federal process could soon move forward with the confirmation of two Republicans nominated by President Donald Trump to serve on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC.

The Senate confirmed nominations for former Senate aide Neil Chatterjee and Pennsylvania utility regulator Robert Powelson.

Glynis Board

Thanks to singer-songwriter John Prine, Paradise Fossil Plant might be the only coal-fired power plant that has a household name. “Paradise,” Prine’s 1971 ballad, drew on boyhood memories from the small town of Paradise, in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, to relay the environmental and social costs of our dependence on coal.

“Mr. Peabody’s coal train,” he sang, had hauled away the Paradise from his childhood.

Becca Schimmel

The Tennessee Valley Authority’s combined cycle gas plant in Muhlenberg County has produced more than one million megawatts of energy in its first three months of operation. It’s part of the federal utility’s effort to diversity its energy portfolio.

The natural gas facility in Drakesboro produces about 1,025 megawatts of electricity, or enough power for half a million homes. The cost of the project is estimated at about $850 million. Bob Deacy is a TVA senior vice president and has been building plants for more than 30 years. He said there’s a lot of fuel switching going on across the country, and having a diverse energy portfolio will save consumers money.

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