On September 1, 2020, authorities removed a suspicious package at a site in rural Texas where Kinder Morgan Inc is building a controversial energy pipeline through wetlands.
The $2.3 billion pipeline project has faced challenges from local officials and environmentalists opposed to its path through sensitive wetlands and areas occupied by endangered species. Crews drilling under a river earlier this year hit an open area underground, spilling fracking fluid that tainted drinking water.
The project has been challenged at court as well, but just last week the court ruled in favor of Kinder Morgan, denying the Sierra Club’s request to stop construction of the Permian Highway pipeline.
Contractors building a section of the 428-mile (689 km) Permian Highway natural gas pipeline in Blanco County, Texas, discovered a wrapped package and halted work and contacted authorities, officials said.
State and federal agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded.
The Permian Highway has been a much-needed addition to the Texas pipeline network as it will carry natural gas from the Permian to the Gulf of Mexico. A gas pipeline shortage in the Permian became a big reason that U.S. gas prices slumped on the back of growing oversupply and insufficient demand on the domestic market.
The pipeline is almost finished now and should start operations in January 2021. Its capacity is 2.1 billion cu ft of natural gas daily and, according to Kinder Morgan, it has been fully subscribed.