MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A crucial vote on the Byhalia Pipeline delayed while both sides of the debate agree to a temporary pause.
The Memphis city council delayed their vote on an ordinance regulating future pipelines, amidst concerns it could negatively affect local businesses and be found unconstitutional.
“Why in the hell are we effing with other people? If that’s our objective, let’s just go forward and prohibit the Byhalia pipeline,” Allan Wade, city council attorney, said.
Serious concerns from Memphis city council attorney Allan Wade, in response to an ordinance proponents say would protect the environment and allow for a thorough evaluation for any pipeline projects in the future.
But Plains All-American pipeline reps say the ordinance would be problematic if passed by the city council, and would likely lead to future legal action.
“Quite simply, this is a flawed ordinance. Even the newest version. We don’t believe it’s legally supportable and if passed, we intend to challenge it,” said Brad Leone, the Director of Communications and Public Affairs Plains All-American.
Concerns about the ordinance center around how it would affect pipelines already operating through the area or even the sewage system.
The broad nature left too many questions for the council to feel comfortable passing it.
“If your efforts are to kill the coyote, don’t kill the family dog in the process. We don’t want to hurt our friends, and we don’t want to hurt good people,” Frank Colvett said.
The council decided to delay any vote on the ordinance until July, and in good faith, Plains All-American officials verbally agreed to press pause as well.