Judge approves $2 billion pipeline to bring Permian natural gas to a Houston area hub

Fuel Fix:
A state district court judge has tossed out a lawsuit that sought to stop a Kinder Morgan pipeline from being routed through the Texas Hill Country.

In a Tuesday afternoon decision, Judge Lora Livingston with the 261st State District Court in Austin dismissed all claims made against the Permian Highway Pipeline, a $2 billion project to move 2.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from the Permian Basin of West Texsa to the Katy Hub near Houston.

Two landowners, a trust, the City of Kyle and Hays County sued Kinder Morgan, one of its subsidiaries, the Railroad Commission of Texas and five agency executives over the 423-mile pipeline in April.

Judge Livingston heard testimony from both sides of the case during a two-day hearing in late May. After nearly four weeks of reviewing evidence and testimony, the judge sided with Kinder Morgan and the Railroad Commission. In a statement, Kinder President of Natural Gas Pipelines Tom Martin said the company was pleased with the ruling.

"The court's finding validates the process established in Texas for the development of natural gas utility projects, as well as the steps we have taken to comply with that process," Martin said. "We will continue to engage all stakeholders as we work to complete PHP."
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The pipeline is expected to generate $1 billion annually to state and local governments.  It will also remove a bottleneck to oil production in the Permian Basin.

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