New Natural Gas Pipeline To Benefit Eastern Kentucky

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

They say there's enough natural gas in Eastern Kentucky to heat 400,000 homes. The only problem is, they can't get it out of the ground. A new pipeline could solve that problem.

The future Big Sandy Pipeline is expected to move 130,000 units of natural gas in Eastern Kentucky to places all over the country, something local companies haven't been able to do.

"Basically the infrastructure was not there to move the amount of gas we already have drilled to be able to move," said District 99 Representative Rocky Adkins.

Company officials say Eastern Kentucky is rich with natural gas, but because they couldn't transport it, they couldn't sell it, so they lost out on money.

"1700 wells being shut in, basically shut down," Adkins said.

The 68 mile Big Sandy Pipeline will cross Floyd, Johnson, Lawrence and Carter Counties and connect to another major pipeline that runs to the northeast United States. The project costs 200 million dollars, but officials say it is money well spent.

"It's a critical piece of infrastructure to supply customer’s natural gas needs, especially during cold winter months," said Dave Spigelmyer with Equitable Gas.

"Which will help not only the Commonwealth, but I think help the energy situation this country faces as well," said Governor Ernie Fletcher.

The governor hopes natural gas from Eastern Kentucky will reduce the country's need for foreign oil, but local officials say they will benefit too.

"They'll receive extra property tax revenues from this. The state will receive extra money from this," Adkins said.

Officials say residents should see the benefits in their pocketbook too because more natural gas means lower energy prices. That means more money in your pocket.

Equitable Gas company officials hope to have the pipeline finished and open by the end of the summer.

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