Morgan County residents react to possible new natural gas pipeline

A Canadian based company, Enbridge, hosted an open house event at Wartburg Central High School.
Canadian based company Enbridge hosted open house event at Wartburg Central High School.
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 11:54 PM EDT
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WARTBURG, Tenn. (WVLT) -The Tennessee Valley Authority hasn’t decided what they’re going to do with the Kingston coal plant, but companies were already beginning to prepare plans in case it does close.

A Canadian based energy company, Enbridge, held an open house at Wartburg Central High School to answer questions and go over details of a proposed 125-mile pipeline what would cut through Middle and East Tennessee.

It’s a plan that will only come to fruition if the TVA decided to close the Kingston plant, and chose natural gas as their new source of energy instead of solar power, or a combination of the two. Although a decision on what’s next won’t come until 2023, Enbridge and residents of the impacted areas were still thinking about what’s best for their way of life.

“Well I own some land this pipeline goes through.” said Randy Nelson, who has lived in Morgan County his whole life.

The pipeline would run alongside the existing one in East Tennessee for the most part, according to Enbridge officials. It would begin in Trousdale County in Middle Tennessee and end in Roane County. In the process, making it’s way through Fentress, Cumberland, and Morgan County.

In Morgan County, the area in East Tennessee in which the pipeline would go through the longest, the project would impact 374 land owners over it’s 25 mile stretch through the county. Even though the pipeline would go through the yard of Nelson’s home, he said he’s “not going to interfere with progress” and would be fine with this change.

More than 50 people came to Wartburg Central High School to go over what this proposal would look like for them, but not everyone felt the same way.

“There are other options than pipelines and gas plants.” said Brady Watson who was lobbying for solar power instead of the proposed pipeline project.

While a TVA spokesperson didn’t speculate as to which option they would select if the Kingston plant closes, they said that overall their goal is to be more involved with natural gas by the year 2035.

As for how the proposed pipeline would impact residents in East Tennessee, an Enbridge spokesperson answered a few questions for those who already have power through natural gas.

“The existing customers and operations of what people do here in East Tennessee won’t be impacted at all by this project.” said Art Haskins with Enbridge.

TVA officials hoped to have an official announcement next year on what the future of the Kingston plant will look like, with any possible changes taking effect years after.

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