October 22, 2007

This is the entrance to Henry Brooks' land on the west side of RR 12 outside of Dripping Springs. Henry's family has owned this place since 1912. Conoco Phillips owns a gas pipeline there that comes from the Permian Basin, one of three that cross Henry's property. The pipelines were installed in the early 1950s - forced on Henry's grandmother through condemnation, for which she was paid a one-time fee of $160.

Maintenance on the lines requires that huge trucks be driven onto this fragile hill country soil, compacting it and squeezing out the life for a long time to come.

This pump truck is pumping nitrogen to push a "pig" 27 miles through the pipeline to the next valve in Del Valle. this pig will force all the natural gas from the line. The gas and nitrogen will be flared off at the other end. After the gas is gone from the pipe, the Conoco Phillips crews can work on it.

Henry tells me that they have never really even attempted to do what is necessary to restore the land. He is hoping that this time they will do the right thing. We'll see.

Below are more pix of the fleet of trucks which are destroying the land.

And here's a link to a little video of Henry on the site.

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