Pipeline not to cross nuns' land

MARION COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT)-It's an issue that could impact many people across central Kentucky, a proposed natural gas liquids pipeline that many people fear could be dangerous.

On the eve of a Kentucky Senate Committee hearing Wednesday on the issue a group of Kentucky nuns fighting it received a victory.

The company wanting to build the Bluegrass Pipeline said it will avoid land owned by the Sisters of Loretto in Marion County.

Recently WKYT's Amber Philpott visited with the Sisters of Loretto who say despite the victory on Wednesday their fight isn't over yet.

The land has been a place of serenity for hundreds of years and its special to those who call it home.

Take a ride along with any one of the ladies who call the area near Loretto home and you will see what they mean when they say it's a gift to live here and a place you don't want to take for granted.

The Sisters of Loretto in Marion County have lived on the property since the 1800s.

It is a community of retired nuns who have spent their life serving a higher power and being good stewards of the land.

" We have 800 acres here and we try to utilize it for the sustenance we need," said Sister Ceciliana Skees a nun since 1949.

One would think the sisters here spend their days in solitude, not true.

The sisters have become activists at the center of a grass roots movement taking on the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline that they say threatens precious Kentucky land.

If built the 1100 mile Bluegrass Pipeline would connect Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky and hook to an existing pipeline to carry liquid natural gas.

The Sisters of Loretto took an early stance in the fight against the Bluegrass Pipeline, when surveyors showed up to look at the land they said they weren't welcome.

The sisters have taken their concern to their neighbors, loading up by the car load and becoming fixtures at community meetings about the pipeline.

Their mission isn't about fighting big corporation, rather they say its about standing up for what's right.

"We are just trying to get across that the earth is beautiful and we need to take care of it," said Sister Skees.

Representatives with the pipeline from Williams and Boardwalk claim its safe and will create jobs, but its the unknown and the fear of an explosion the sisters say is fueling their fight that is far from over.

"We are not going to stop until either the last pipe is laid or the first pipe never gets laid," said Sister Skees.

Thursday a Senate committee is scheduled to discuss the proposed pipeline, that hearing begins at 1p-m in the Capitol Annex building in Frankfort.

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