Roman Catholic nuns near Columbia will petition the U.S. Supreme Court in their effort to remove a gas pipeline from their “sacred” farm property.
On their Facebook page, the Adorers of the Blood of Christ also say they plan to build a solar farm on their property.
“This project at this sacred site of resistance would bear witness to clean, sustainable, earth-friendly energy sources,” the nuns wrote.
Twice, the nuns have lost court decisions in their lawsuit against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Transcontinental Pipe Line Co. for condemning the nuns’ farmland in West Hempfield Township to build the Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline.
The nuns claimed that forcibly building the pipeline through their property was a violation of their protected religious beliefs to protect the Earth from harm, such as the use of fossil fuels. The nuns claim a violation of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
But two courts said those claims should have been raised during the pipeline’s administrative process before FERC, not after pipeline approval had been given.
The nuns will now attempt to get the Supreme Court to take up their case. Less than 5 percent of the cases filed with the court are taken up by justices.
Transco has asked FERC to allow the pipeline to begin moving gas on Sept. 10.
Details of the appeal and the solar farm project are to be announced at a press conference on Friday at an outdoors chapel the nuns built in the pipeline right of way. The pipeline was built around the chapel.
The press conference will be held at 9 a.m. at the chapel at 3939 Laurel Run, Columbia.