Voters in Bowling Green, OH, on Tuesday definitively rejected a referendum that would have prohibited natural gas pipelines from being built on city-owned property.
The grassroots initiative, prompted in part by Nexus Gas Transmission LLC’s plans to build a few miles outside of Bowling Green on property owned by the city in Middleton Township, was defeated by a margin of 61-39%.
The Ohio Supreme Court had given hope to referendum proponents last month when it upheld a decision by the local county board of elections to leave the proposal on the ballot. “The Community Rights to a Healthy Environment and Livable Climate,” as it was titled, would have banned pipelines carrying gas or other fossil fuels from running within the city limits or on land owned by Bowling Green. It would have excluded infrastructure that serves local consumers in Wood County. Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards was a vocal opponent.
The 255-mile Nexus project would move 1.5 Bcf/d from Ohio to Michigan and into Canada. The project, cleared by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to begin construction last month, is expected to be in-service by 3Q2018. The bulk of Nexus construction is to take place in Ohio, where the project crosses 11 counties.
The Bowling Green initiative was not the only opposition the pipeline has faced in the state. More than a dozen communities have passed symbolic resolutions opposing the pipeline or had requested reroutes during the planning phase.