By Anthony Riley
During Thursday evening’s regularly scheduled Metro Council meeting, supporters from the local advocacy group Save Bernheim Now along with other community members gathered inside Louisville’s City Hall.
The group had endorsed a resolution, sponsored by councilwoman Betsy Ruhe (D-21) that was put to vote Thursday evening, calling on Metro Council to oppose the building of an LG&E pipeline through conservation lands owned by Bernheim forest.
The resolution is titled as follows:
“A RESOLUTION OPPOSING THE SEIZURE OF CONSERVATION LAND FOR THE
PURPOSE OF BUILDING A NATURAL GAS PIPELINE THROUGH BERNHEIM ARBORETUM AND RESEARCH FOREST”
Several council members, such as Councilman Anthony Piagentini (R-19) and Scott Reed (R-16), vocally opposed the resolution. Piagentini said that the “energy needs of today” must be served first before transitioning to renewable energy in the future.
Reed said that Louisville Metro Government has “no ability” to do anything about the issue as “LG&E is a private company” not managed or run by the city, and that Metro Council is the “wrong venue” when it comes to pursuing action concerning the pipeline.
The resolution passed on a vote of 17 yea’s.
The Pipeline Continues
Recently, a Bulitt county judge ruled in favor of LG&E and against Bernheim Forest, citing eminent domain laws.
The ruling allows LG&E to proceed with their plan to build a 12-mile natural gas pipeline, 3.3 miles of which would run through Bernheim’s Cedar Grove Wildlife Corridor, currently classified as conservation land.
Save Bernheim Now member Kat Smith says, “We want this to be a people-power fight.”
Navi White, a supporter of Save Bernheim Now, said of Metro Council: “It’s insensitive…of them to say that (the pipeline) does not involve them.” White said that LG&E is “seeing how they can push the boundaries, to set the playbook for cases in the future.”
Officials with Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest said today that they are filing to appeal the recent ruling.
File Photos // Anthony Riley, The Louisville Cardinal //