In the rolling green hills of Kentucky, the Sisters of Loretto are leading a grassroots movement against the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline.
Down the road from the Maker’s Mark bourbon distillery in the central Kentucky town of Loretto, a feisty cadre of nuns has been tending crops and praying since the early 1800s. An order founded on social justice, the Sisters of Loretto are quickly becoming the face of a new grassroots campaign against what they see as a threat to holy land: the Bluegrass Pipeline. The 1,100-mile pipeline will carry natural gas liquids from the Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia fracking fields, and will pass through Kentucky—eventually connecting with an existing pipeline that runs all the way to the Gulf Coast.
The pipeline is in its early stages of development, but the nuns have already refused to allow company representatives to survey their 800-acre campus, and they are taking their message to local community meetings…sometimes in the form of song.