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Rep.Zwiener, Erin

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Rep. Zwiener Disappointed, but Determined, in wake of Kinder Morgan Case Ruling  print page

by: Rep. Zwiener, Erin
07/03/2019

Austin, TX — A Travis County District court ruled the Texas Railroad Commission, the state’s oil and gas regulator, is not required to set standards for routing pipelines that have the power of eminent domain last week, something Representative Zwiener fought for during the 86th Legislative Session. Rep. Zwiener filed six bills related to the dangerous practices of pipeline operators and three bills to provide oversight of the exercise of power of eminent domain by private pipeline companies.

“I’m disappointed in this ruling but am renewing my commitment to ensuring public accountability when a company is given the power of eminent domain,” said Rep. Zwiener. “Currently the people of Texas have zero input in the routing of these pipelines, and it’s wrong.”

The court ruling removes a challenge by plaintiffs, including the City of Kyle, Hays County, and multiple House District 45 landowners, to the state’s overly permissive process for the approval of large transmission pipelines. The challenge originated because of a planned 42 inch Kinder Morgan pipeline that would be the first new transmission pipeline to cross the Hill Country and its delicate aquifers in decades. Pipeline routes are not subject to any public oversight, and counties, cities, and emergency service districts pay the costs of emergency preparedness despite no elected official, state or local, having input in the route.

“Kinder Morgan told the court that it was up to the state legislature, not the court, to change the pipeline permitting process and that is exactly what I will continue to fight for,” said Rep. Zwiener. “Pipelines should go through the same public process that our electric lines, railroads, and major roadways have to. These decisions should be made in the light of day, not in a corporate boardroom.”

Contact: Holly Doyle

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Kyle, Texas 78640