NASHVILLE, Tennessee – A meeting to hear opponents of a bill that preempts local governments from prohibiting energy infrastructure was held Monday morning by the House bill sponsor. Meanwhile, the Senate version of the bill advanced through the committee process.
Rep. Kevin Vaughan (R-Collierville), sponsor of HB2246, announced that he scheduled the meeting during the March 8 meeting of the House Commerce Committee he chairs. During the same committee meeting, Vaughan bid adieu to the Interstate Compact bill he also sponsored, The Tennessee Star reported.
U.S. Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN-09) this week said he wants more federal oversight of the oil industry and asked that U.S. President Joe Biden review the use of gas pipeline permits nationwide. Cohen announced the news via email to his constituents this week. He said Memphis residents who recently stopped the construction of the Byhalia Pipeline through southwest Memphis have forced people to think more about environmental justice issues.
The Virginia-based Southern Environmental Law Center has filed a complaint with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) alleging that running the proposed Byhalia Pipeline through Memphis violates the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Byhalia, according to its website, is a crude oil pipeline that is supposed to run nearly 49 miles from Memphis to Marshall County, Mississippi. The pipeline, the website went on to say, will connect the Diamond Pipeline with the Capline Pipeline. The Diamond Pipeline provides the Valero Memphis Refinery with crude oil to produce gasoline and jet fuels. The Capline Pipeline, meanwhile, runs between Central Illinois and the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Tennessee native and former vice president Al Gore is scheduled to travel to Memphis Sunday to speak out against the Byhalia Pipeline.
Gore is scheduled to speak at 3 p.m. Sunday at Memphis’ Mitchell High School.