Plans to build controversial pipeline delayed - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Plans to build controversial pipeline delayed

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A map of the proposed pipeline. A map of the proposed pipeline.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Plans for a proposed controversial pipeline through Kentucky have been delayed.

Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Williams Co. said Wednesday it would delay the scheduled completion of the Bluegrass Pipeline from late 2015 to mid-to-late 2016. The new date will better align with producers' needs, said Alan Armstrong, the company's chief executive officer.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Standing room-only crowd seeks answers about Bluegrass Pipeline]

Williams Co. and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners are jointly proposing to build the line, which would run from Pennsylvania to Kentucky and connect with an existing pipeline to carry natural gas liquids to Louisiana.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Standing room-only crowd seeks answers about Bluegrass Pipeline]

In Frankfort, Gov. Steve Beshear encouraged lawmakers to pass legislation that would ban the pipeline's developers from using eminent domain to build the line.

"Although we have been advised that existing law does not permit companies to use eminent domain for private projects like the Bluegrass Pipeline, I would welcome legislation that will clarify and codify that point," Beshear said in a statement.

The House Judiciary committee didn't vote on the bill Wednesday, running out of time after two hours of testimony and with others waiting to speak. Rep. John Tilley, a Democrat and the committee's chairman, said a vote could happen next week after more discussion.

At the hearing, farmers asked lawmakers for the ability to say "no" to the Bluegrass Pipeline's developers.  farmers asked lawmakers for the right to say no to the Bluegrass Pipeline developers.

"I feel I speak for many small town Kentuckians, and my family and many landowners and farmers, when I say we do not want to be forced to give up our land and hand it over to this private company," said Amy Boone, a pipeline opponent.

Meanwhile, business groups advocated for developers to be able to build the line without delays.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Bluegrass Pipeline draws eminent domain fears; public meeting scheduled]

Project officials did not mention the legislative challenge in Frankfort in their decision to delay a target date for the pipeline's completion, instead citing changing market conditions.

Williams Co. financial reports show a decline in net income from $859 million, or $1.37 per share on a diluted basis in 2012 to $430 million, or $0.62 per share on a diluted basis in 2013.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Catholic sisters among opponents of Bluegrass Pipeline]

To read a full report of Williams Co. year-end 2013 financial results, click here.

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