Chesapeake Subsidiary Sues Texas City | Green Arkansas

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Chesapeake Subsidiary Sues Texas City

Posted By on Thu, Oct 2, 2008 at 3:57 PM


The view from inside a compressor station

Texas Midstream, a subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy, has filed a lawsuit against the city of Grand Prairie, Texas.  At question is whether municipalities have the right to set ordinances that regulate, say, where a pipeline can and can't go, or in this case, a compressor station.  What's a compressor station?  According to naturalgas.org, "to ensure that the natural gas flowing through any one pipeline remains pressurized, compression of this natural gas is required periodically along the pipe. This is accomplished by compressor stations, usually placed at 40 to 100 mile intervals along the pipeline. The natural gas enters the compressor station, where it is compressed by either a turbine, motor, or engine."  

I've never been next to one, but it seems to me like it might be loud.  Chesapeake claims they are in compliance with state and federal regulations, and the ordinance imposed by Grand Prairie is unlawful.  I used to work at WFAA in Dallas, so I'll give them the link.   

Homeowners have recently learned the hard way they legally have little choice in whether they allow them through their property.

Attorney Jim Bradbury is a member of Fort Worth's Natural Gas Drilling Task Force.

"You might believe that the city could and should protect you, but it may in fact be true that they can't," he said.

Bradbury told me that the question is really over Chesapeake's claim that the sole basis for the ordinance is safety.  "If that's true, then the ordinance appears to be preempted," Bradbury says.  "But if there are other reasons for the ordinance then the city may have a basis.  In the end if this type of ordinance is preempted there will be little protection for landowners."

 

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