Nuns continue to fight against Bluegrass Pipeline

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Dozens gathered outside the Kentucky state capitol Tuesday morning to fight a proposed pipeline.

"The possibility of this hazardous liquid pipeline that would cut a swath through our Commonwealth invites us to wake up to the imperial future that it would create," says Susan Classen, a Co-member of the Sisters of Loretto, Nerinx.

The Bluegrass Pipeline would run through 13 Kentucky counties. One group against it includes nuns who have already won their battle to keep the pipeline out of their property, but the Sisters of Loretto are hoping to stop it from coming to Kentucky period.

Tuesday, the sisters weren't alone in Frankfort. Several other leaders from Christian-based groups were part of the protest as well. They all fear the threat to people and land with pipes carrying natural gas close by.

"The dangers of the proposed pipeline far exceed the supposed benefits of short terms jobs, quick income, and the purchase of easements. It's a matter of short term gain, long term pain," says Dr. David Whitlock, a Pastor with the Baptist Church in Lebanon.

The sisters of Loretto have lived on their property since the 1800's and believe it is their responsibility to protect it, but also explain that all land is holy.

The sisters presented a petition to Governor Beshear's assistant with more than 36,000 signatures in it. They all hope this effort will convince lawmakers to put a stop to the Bluegrass Pipeline.

"This petition represents the deep conviction of people of faith that it is our sacred duty to protect the land and the water and all the communities here in our Commonwealth," says Sister Claire McGowan, Dominican Sisters of Peace.

Representatives for the pipeline say it is safe and will create several jobs in Kentucky. As for the sisters of Loretto, they don't have any plans of backing down.

Tuesday, Governor Beshear released this statement on the matter:

“The proposed Bluegrass Pipeline has created a great deal of concern and inquiry, and we understand that some Kentuckians are anxious about what this potential project may mean for their homes and property. We are monitoring this issue very closely, and the General Assembly is also gathering information on this matter. If we find that there is a need for state government to take action to increase protections for our landowners and for the protection of our environment, we will have adequate time to do so in the regular session that begins in January.”

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