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Energy Transfer Opposed in Texas, Too, As Celebs and Landowners Fight Local Pipeline

Another Pipeline by Energy Transfer Opposed in Texas, Too, As Celebs and Landowners Fight

A plan for an extensive pipeline costing hundreds of millions of dollars that would run through a scenic--and some say sacred--area of natural beauty is vociferously being opposed by a dedicated alliance of local residents and environmental activists, causing headlines and headaches for Dallas, Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners.

Sound familiar? No, it’s not the Dakota Access Pipeline, but another project dubbed the Trans-Pecos pipeline.

Last week in Dallas, Texas several hundred protesters stood outside the Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) corporate offices to voice their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

In addition to the protest, another group of about 100 celebrities, landowners and environmentalists had previously joined forces to protest the pipeline known as the Trans-Pecos pipeline. The coalition is one of several groups opposing various pipeline projects, raising hopes that the era in which energy companies crisscrossed the open land with industrial infrastructure unopposed may be ending.

High-profile Texans, such as Peter Coyote, Tommy Lee Jones and musicians Ray Wylie Hubbard, Randy Jackson, Sara Hickman and Gurf Morlix, signed their names to an ad that ran in The Dallas Morning News, voicing objection to a plan for the Trans-Pecos.

The Big Bend Conservation Alliance, (BBCA) is the force behind the ad that appeared in the Dallas Morning News and along with other environmental intervenors, have filed a request for a rehearing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission arguing a small section of the pipeline that crosses into Mexico neglects the impact of the full stretch of the pipeline.

The efforts of the BBCA, which is listed on their website as a volunteer-driven organization that seeks ‘to preserve the natural, cultural, and economic resources of the Big Bend region of Texas,’ has garnered support from many celebrities to stop the efforts of Energy Transfer Partners, in this case the Trans-Pecos pipeline.

At 143-miles long, the 42-inch diameter pipeline will conceivably transfer 1.4 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas from Fort Stockton, Texas to a pipeline along the U.S.-Mexican border near Presidio, Texas.

Trans Pecos Pipeline - Photo credit: naturalgasintel.com

Initially, ETP filed eminent domain lawsuits against an approximate 40 landowners in Brewster, Presidio, and Pecos counties. Special commissioners heard seven cases, per attorney Zachary Brady in the Texas Observer.

Of those cases, the Presidio county special commission awarded six landowners about $2.8 million in compensation for the use of their property to build the Trans-Pecos pipeline and a resulting loss in property value. The $2.8 million, though sizable and nearly 30 times more than the pipeline company originally offered, is a mere dent to the corporate billion-dollar entity ETP.

“The net of this is you’ve got a $766 million project, and the revenue backed up could be in the billions,” said Coyne Gibson, a volunteer at BBCA, an environmental group trying to stop the pipeline. “If everyone got $1 million, you’re still looking at chump change [for ETP].”

Notable Native actor Arthur Redcloud, who appeared in The Revenant, joined activists and water protectors from various tribal nations at the Dallas, Texas protest, adding his name to the growing list of celebrities — Leonardo DiCaprio, Tommy Lee Jones, Jason Mamoa, Exra Miller, Ray Fisher, Pharrell Williams, Susan Sarandon, and Shailene Woodley — who have voiced their opposition to the pipelines.

Actresses Shailene Woodley, fourth from right, and Susan Sarandon, second from right, and Standing Rock Sioux Tribe member Bobbi Jean Three Lakes, right, participate in a rally outside the US District Court in Washington. CREDIT: AP/MANUEL BALCE CENETA

Follow ICTMN’s Arts and Entertainment, Pow Wow’s and Sports Editor Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter - @VinceSchilling