Return to Resistance
After three-and-a half-years of relative “peace in the valley,” Resistiendo is once again forced to challenge a threat to our environment, this time from a proposed 345-kilovolt electric transmission line. The Western Spirit line, jointly owned by Pattern Development and a quasi-state agency called RETA (Renewable Energy Transmission Authority), would bring this high-voltage line across Torrance And Valencia Counties on huge 120- to 140-foot-high towers.
Please stay tuned to this space and we begin gearing up for a fight to keep this transmission line from impacting our land and our people. You may also visit https://groups.google.com/d/forum/resistiendotransmissionlines and sign up to receive e-mail updates.
August 14, 2018
We need your help to alert your friends and neighbors about the proposed transmission line. We invite you to print the following letter to share with your neighbors or to share online.
“It’s in the Deep-Freeze”
That’s how Kinder Morgan unofficially described the status of the Lobos CO2 pipeline to the Bureau of Land Management.
And Resistiendo could not be happier!
On Jan. 21, 2015, the BLM contacted Resistiendo to inform us that Kinder Morgan was withdrawing its application. It is beyond our wildest dreams that the fight we have been waging for more than a year has paid off. This proposed project – a pipeline that could do serious harm to our sensitive environment, disturb historical and cultural assets, impact critical watershed areas in the region and negatively impact our economy – is no longer an immediate threat.
In a press release announcing its fourth quarter earnings for 2014, Kinder Morgan said: “Due to current market conditions related to the significant decline in oil prices, KMI is re-evaluating the timing of its planned investment of approximately $1 billion to develop the St. Johns CO2 source field in Apache County, Arizona, and the associated construction of the Lobos Pipeline and expansion of the southern portion of the Cortez Pipeline.”
While Kinder Morgan is citing pure economic reasons for abandoning the project, Resistiendo and its supporters feel that our work did have an impact on the company’s decision. While we may not have stopped the project outright, we did prove to be a “burr under the saddle” of the multi-billion dollar company. And our work to delay the approval of the project almost certainly contributed to the company’s decision.
Resistiendo can now claim a victory in its battle – so will we quietly go back to our normal lives? No way!
Resistiendo members have agreed that we will continue to fight unjust energy projects in our state and beyond, such as the Saddle Butte/Piñon Pipeline in western New Mexico and the Keystone XL Pipeline. Likewise, we will stand up to reveal the contradictions in national energy policy where alternative, sustainable energy concerns are hardly supported, even as evidence of global climate change continues to mount.
We will also continue to educate ourselves to be armed for the future if (when?) Kinder Morgan returns again to try and win residents over with bags of money.
And we will join with other like-minded people and organizations to share our experience, energy and knowledge to oppose similar projects.
We hope you will continue to stand with us!
THEY’VE DONE IT…WE CAN DO IT!
They’ve done it in…New York
“Citing Health Risks, Cuomo Bans Fracking in New York State”
They’ve done it in…Massachusetts
“In face of opposition, company to reroute gas pipeline”
They’ve done it in…Colorado
“Kinder Morgan drops lawsuit, powerline plan”
They’ve done it in…British Columbia
“Kinder Morgan pulls equipment from Burnaby Mountain”
They’ve done it in…Texas
“Texas oil town makes history as residents say no to fracking”
They’ve done it in…Mora County, New Mexico
“New Mexico county first in nation to ban fracking to safeguard water”
They’re doing it…across North America
“Protests Slow Pipeline Projects Across U.S., Canada”
We can do it here! We can keep Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline out of New Mexico.
We’ve made a lot of progress since we founded Resistiendo in Dec. 2013, and now the Kinder Morgan CO2 pipeline is on hold. But Resistiendo continues to monitor developments in our area, and we will take action where appropriate. Can you help us continue the fight? Please donate.
What is the Lobos CO2 Pipeline? Kinder Morgan (KM) is proposing to build a 214-mile pipeline from Apache County, Arizona, across Catron, Socorro, and Torrance counties in New Mexico to connect with the Cortez pipeline in Torrance county. Super critical liquid CO2 will be transported through the line for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR). The proposed project would include four new pumping stations, pigging facilities and mainline block valves. (Dept. of Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Public scoping meeting handout.)
What is Kinder Morgan? Kinder Morgan, Inc. (KM) is a U.S. energy company valued at $110 billion, headquartered in Houston, Texas. It was formed in 1997 when former Enron executives Richard Kinder and William Morgan bought Enron Liquids Pipeline, LLP. The company’s core business is to move fossil fuels from mines and wellheads to utilities, refineries and manufacturers. (Conversations for Responsible Economic Development (CRED), “Assessing the Risks of Kinder Morgan’s Proposed New Trans Mountain Pipeline,” revised May 2013, and kindermorgan.com)
Is CO2 just “the fizzy stuff in soda pop”? Carbon dioxide (CO2) has been used for years in pop, leading to the public misperception that this gas is safe for pipeline transport and that there is no risk to people from a CO2 pipeline. But in fact, CO2 in relatively small amounts can be fatal to humans and animals. CO2 is heavier than air and displaces oxygen. CO2 settles in low- lying areas where it can remain undetected for long periods of time.
Why are there so many unanswered CO2 pipeline questions? Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) has been used in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico for more than 30 years*. However, there is still much that has not been studied with regard to the mining, transportation and delivery of CO2 to a distant location for EOR, including the effects of a pipeline on the land, water, animals and people in its path. There are many basic questions that remain unanswered, such as how the pipeline would affect property values and the ability to obtain mortgages and insurance. We believe that the people of New Mexico along the route of the proposed Lobos CO2 pipeline should not be used as guinea pigs for the research that needs to be done. (*Logan, Jeffrey and Venezia, John (2007). “CO2-Enhanced Oil Recovery.” Excerpt from a WRI Policy Note, “Weighing U.S. Energy Options: The WRI Bubble Chart.” World Resources Institute, Washington, DC.)
What is the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and why are they involved? Portions of the proposed pipeline cross BLM public lands and therefore the BLM is designated as the lead federal agency responsible for conducting the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process and issuing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed project. The BLM will likely issue a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) in the fall of 2014 identifying a preferred route.
What is KM’s safety and maintenance record? The organization called Conversations for Responsible Economic Development reported, “Carl Weimar, executive director of the Pipeline Safety Trust, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization, noted that KM has a poor safety record since acquiring a huge network of pipelines in a short time. The National Response Center, the sole federal point of contact for reporting oil and chemical spills in the U.S. and its territorial waters has found KM responsible for 1,800 violations since it was incorporated in 1997, nearly 500 of which are pipeline incidents.” Even with this information, the BLM officials making the decision about the CO2 pipeline project stated at a public meeting on June 18, 2014, in Mountainair that KM’s safety and maintenance records are not relevant to the National Environmental Policy Act process. (Conversations for Responsible Economic Development (CRED), “Assessing the Risks of Kinder Morgan‘s Proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline,” May 2013, revised.)
Can KM take your property for the pipeline? If private landowners do not grant an easement across their property, KM could attempt to take private property through court action by the legal process known as “eminent domain.” Resistiendo, Inc., members are prepared to challenge KM’s taking of their property through this legal process. Landowners negotiating with KM are encouraged to seek legal advice to make sure their rights are protected and that they have the right to take legal action against KM if there is damage to their property due to a pipeline accident or a poorly maintained pipeline.
Will the pipeline construction provide economic benefit to the area? Perhaps in the short term the pipeline construction may provide jobs to local individuals having the specialized skills required. There will likely be increased business revenues to local businesses while the construction crews are working in the area. However, it is the county, its taxpayers and landowners that will bear many of the hidden costs of a pipeline for the long term: watershed restoration; repairs to open space and wells; public safety costs to outfit, train and employ first responders; devaluation of land and decreased tax revenues.
What is an (HIA) Health Impact Assessment? Through a collaborative effort of health-focused organizations along with input from Torrance County residents, research is being conducted to address potential health impacts of the proposed pipeline. (Partners include Human Impact Partners (HIP), The Partnership for a Healthy Torrance Community (PHTC), New Mexico Dept. of Health, New Mexico Health Equity Partnership – Santa Fe Community Foundation).
What is “Resistiendo: Resist the CO2 Pipeline”? Resistiendo, Inc., is a nonprofit corporation formed by landowners and citizens from diverse communities affected by the proposed pipeline. We are standing up to say no to the use and abuse of private land for corporate profit. The proposed pipeline trench poses a major threat to underground streams and watershed and vital water supply. A pipeline cutting through the heart of our land creates an ugly industrial corridor inviting other energy projects to follow, further threatening the environment and scarring our view-scape. Kinder Morgans’s proposed pipeline disregards the historic roots, the archaeological treasures and diverse cultural heritage of the rural traditions we wish to hold in sacred trust for future generations.
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