Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the Permian Highway Pipeline?

If Kinder Morgan gets its way, the company’s giant 42-inch pipeline will send 2.1 billion cubic feet of fracked gas, or other petroleum products, every day down a 240-mile-long path that goes right through the Texas Hill Country. It will cut through vulnerable watersheds and aquifers that supply drinking water for more than 2 million Texans.  At 42 inches, the PHP is about as close to the size of the highly controversial Dakota Access Pipeline as any other pipeline being built today.

 

 

Who is Kinder Morgan?

Kinder Morgan is one of the largest North American companies that builds pipelines and sells entrance to them to other energy and oil and gas companies.  KM’s business model is akin to a public utility, the only difference being that Kinder Morgan gets to reap all of the profits while building on public and private land.

KM’s President Richard Kinder likes to pay lip-service to sustainability but stops short of conducting his pipeline business in a way that ensures the safety and protection of water supplies and other environmental concerns. 

KM is a company that has a long history of environmental and employment violations and catastrophes.

 

 

Why is Kinder Morgan routing it to go through the Hill Country?

That’s a question that state and local officials and everyday Texans have asked Kinder Morgan, to no avail.  On the record, Kinder Morgan says they’re building the PHP in the Hill Country because it’s their only option, or that it’s the best option.  Truth is, better options exist.  Kinder Morgan is just routing the PHP through the Hill Country because . . . THEY CAN.

 

 

Why is the PHP a bad idea?

It’s called a highway for a reason.  The PHP will likely be just the first of many other pipelines being forced into a region of the state that — until now — has been protected.  The PHP is a bad idea because it threatens the drinking water and health of millions of Texans. 

 

 

Why all the talk about karst?

Unlike in other parts of Texas, in the Hill Country there’s no topsoil buffer.  So, whatever goes into that karst limestone — like natural gas or condensate — will be impossible to get back out. Karst is like the swiss cheese of topography. It’s like a “limestone sponge.”

Because Kinder Morgan pipelines leak . . . and explode, when that Permian Highway Pipeline leaks, it will go right into the water supply of over 2-million people. Then, our water will be contaminated . . . for a very long time.

 

 

Has an impact study been conducted?

No.  The Texas Rail Road Commission oversees oil and gas pipelines but does nothing to regulate routing or the environmental impact. 

 

 

What will the PHP transport?

At first, Kinder Morgan says the Permian Highway Pipeline will transport natural gas.  Then, who knows?  Kinder Morgan pretends it’d be really hard to switch to transporting, say, crude oil or tar sands, but that’s not true.  The list of pipelines that switch what they transport is well documented.  With the PHP, it’s not a matter of if, but when.  And when KM switches to crude oil or other hydrocarbons, the chance that Texas’ drinking water will be polluted goes up exponentially.

 

 

Aren’t natural gas pipelines safe?

Accidents happen.  Pipelines leak.  No matter what Kinder Morgan says.  Even natural gas pipelines carry insidious carcinogens.  And carrying carcinogenic material and pollutants through irreplaceable watersheds and aquifers is dangerous.  In the worst-case scenario, pipeline explosions — which do happen — take the lives of anyone in the blast zone.

 

 

What happens if it leaks or spills?

Because Kinder Morgan’s PHP will be situated in the porous, swiss cheese-like karst limestone, any natural gas (or oil!) spill or leak will be irreversible.  Kinder Morgan won’t be able to do a thing to clean it up.  Given the carcinogens that natural gas condensate and liquids carry, the harm to Texas’ drinking water will be irreparable.  Kinder Morgan will have their pipeline, but Texas won’t have access to one of its most important natural resources.

 

 

Will the PHP bring jobs and other economic benefits to Texas?

Like the best kind of snake oil salesman, Kinder Morgan’s hired economists are promising all sorts of prosperity and jobs thanks to the PHP.  We know how trustworthy commissioned impact papers are.  We also know the high cost of threatening the drinking water for millions of Texans.  Question is: Does Kinder Morgan and its investors know how great the cost will be?

 

 

Is this a red or a blue issue?

No.  Texans on every side of the political spectrum, including county and city governments, oppose the Permian Highway Pipeline’s current route.  Kinder Morgan can and should do better and move the pipeline out of the karst Texas Hill Country Region.

 

 

What is the MTPSTW coalition?

Move The Pipeline – Save The Water is a broad-based coalition of Texans who believe that Kinder Morgan has other options when it comes to the route of the PHP.  The campaign is backed by water protection groups, citizens and community organizations who want to ensure the safe drinking water for 2 million Texans.  MTPSTW does not receive any funding from big corporations.