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Say No to the Byhalia Pipeline

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For Immediate Release February 26, 2021 Memphis, TN— February 26, 2021 — The Shelby County Democratic Party (SCDP) is committed to the long-held principle of protecting the environment. SCDP stands with other grassroots leaders and stakeholders in Memphis and Shelby County to the proposed Byhalia Pipeline. It is past time to put an end to this ecological devastation and fight for energy alternatives that do not include fossil fuels. Memphis water has been dubbed as “The sweetest water in the world” in a 2003 Water World Article. In a 2016 Commercial Appeal Article titles “ The Memphis Sand Aquifer: A Buried Treasure” Tom Charlier notes that the sand aquifer supplies Memphis with some of the best water in the world.

The proposed Byhalia Pipeline cuts through some of the thinnest portions of a clay layer that protects our artesian wells. The Executive Director of Protect Our Aquifer gave a harrowing statistic today. 1 pound of crude oil can contaminate over 25,000 gallons of water. A small leak from this pipeline can have irreversible effects on the mid-south drinking water. This is an unnecessary and unacceptable risk.

Furthermore, Memphis has a history of exploitation and inequities. In this same vein, this is the exploitation of an already marginalized community. In a time when the focus should be to uplift impoverished neighborhoods, SCDP cannot sit silently and watch this injustice occur. The decision to route the pipeline through low-income African American neighborhoods is a clear example of environmental racism. Exploiting predominately black neighborhoods in some of the poorest zip codes in the country is no


The use of eminent domain to seize lands and attempts to buy off community members is appalling. The Shelby County Democratic Party stands with Memphis Community Against the Pipeline and Protect Our Aquifer to fight for justice, to protect the health of the community and preserve the high quality of drinking water well into the future.

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