Today the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas denied Sierra Club’s request for a temporary injunction against Kinder Morgan’s Permian Highway Pipeline, noting Kinder Morgan’s compliance with the U.S. Army Corps’ comprehensive mitigation plan to minimize any impacts to the Houston toad, Tobusch fishhook cactus, Barton Springs salamander, Austin blind salamander, and the golden-cheeked warbler.
A plan that included “Kinder Morgan’s purchase of 1,363 acres of habitat for golden-cheeked warblers, land that was transferred to the [U.S. Fish and Wildlife] Service to be protected in perpetuity as part of the Balcones Wildlife Refuge… and Kinder Morgan’s work to prevent oak wilt which can destroy golden-cheeked warbler habitat.”
U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman determined that Kinder Morgan and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers properly conducted the Nationwide Permitting 12 (NWP 12) procedures for water crossings and found that the Sierra Club’s “position tends towards speculation” and doesn’t warrant injunctive relief.
Below is a statement that can be attributed to me, Craig Stevens, spokesman for the GAIN Coalition:
“Today’s decision is an important step in recognizing the tremendous lengths the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Kinder Morgan took to ensure the Permian Highway Pipeline (PHP) would not have any measurable impact on the wildlife native to the area. The U.S. energy industry and its regulators take careful consideration of the natural habitat where they work, and spend tremendous time and treasure minimizing impact to those areas.
“We are heartened the Court agreed that when companies follow the law and guidance from regulators, they can be provided with certainty that their projects can proceed. We look forward to final completion and ultimate operation of the PHP which will deliver natural gas from the Permian region of Texas to markets across the U.S. and around the world.”