Oil (Palmetto) vs. gas (Sabal Trail) pipelines at FERC

FERC’s role for oil pipelines is different than for natural gas pipelines. FERC doesn’t actively promote petroleum products pipelines through federal eminent domain like it does for fracked methane; instead it leaves oil pipeline eminent domain to the states, which for Georgia seems to mostly mean the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT).

FERC’s website says about Regulating Oil Pipelines:

The Commission’s responsibilities include:

  • Regulation of rates and practices of oil pipeline companies engaged in interstate transportation;
  • Establishment of equal service conditions to provide shippers with equal access to pipeline transportation; and
  • Establishment of reasonable rates for transporting petroleum and petroleum products by pipeline.

So Kinder Morgan’s Palmetto petroleum products Project does fall under FERC, but not the same way as for Sabal Trail’s fracked methane pipeline.

These FERC oil roles help explain why Continue reading

Grasping at semicolons: Sabal Trail fail in Leesburg

Semicolons and disjunctive ands vs. propaganda, subterfuge, and fraud yesterday in Leesburg, GA, and evidentiary briefs will be received by the judge over the next 20 days.

300x225 Attorneys preparing for hearing, in Grasping at semicolons: Sabal Trail fail in Leesburg, by John S. Quarterman, for SpectraBusters.org, 24 March 2015 After patiently listening to Spectra attorneys detail how a 1920s version of Georgia pipeline eminent domain law had a semicolon that they claimed separated “in the State of Georgia” from their pipeline, Judge Smith later remarked that the legislature passing a bill that removed the semicolon could be used to infer that they intended to remove the semicolon. Sabal Trail also tried to argue that the “and” in the same sentence was a disjunctive that similarly separated. The judge seemed more interested in the basic question: does Sabal Trail provide gas to customers within the State of Georgia?

The landowners’ attorney made it even more interesting, referring to Continue reading

Return to Leesburg, GA for Sabal Trail legal hearing against landowners

Last summer Sabal Trail limped away from Leesburg, Georgia without any ruling about eminent domain. They’re heading their pipeline posse back to town this Tuesday, 24 March 2015, for an 11:30 AM hearing on a motion of summary judgment against the same landowners, the Bells. This is an opportunity for pipeline opponents to show up at the hearing or write a letter of support for the Bells. Send your letter here and we’ll probably also publish it.

If you can’t come in person, for letters here is contact information Continue reading

Yes, Palmetto Pipe Line falls under FERC

There’s never been any doubt that Kinder Morgan’s Palmetto Project to gouge through South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida to Jacksonville is an interstate pipeline and therefore under the jurisdiction of FERC. It does aready have one FERC docket. The only reason it doesn’t have a pre-filing or regular filing FERC docket is it just hasn’t gotten that far in the FERC process yet.

Update 2015-03-26: Actually, FERC doesn’t have nearly as much authority over oil pipelines.

FERC’s own docket OR15-13, was Continue reading

Justice was served at last for the Seneca Lake protesters

This, Sabal Trail, is what a historical precedent looks like. They protested fracked methane storage, were arrested, charged, and the charges were just dismissed with prejudice, which means they case can’t be brought back on those charges. Everything they said about Seneca Lake applies equally to the Sabal Trail pipeline, the Palmetto Pipeline, Elba Island LNG export, and the rest of the whole cash-out-before-the-carbon-bubble-pops fossil fuel boondoggle.

Sometimes, in good conscience, citizens must engage in non-violent acts of civil disobedience to protect our sacred trust.

Surveying for the unnecessary, destructive, and hazardous Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline is not “imperative”, no matter how many threatening letters Sabal Trail sends. These are our sacred trust: Continue reading

Anti-fracking resolution suggested to Thomas County, Georgia

Shale basins lie under our Floridan Aquifer in most of south Georgia and much of north Florida, plus northwest Georgia, so it’s time for Georgia counties to join Florida in passing anti-fracking resolutions.

Alton Burns wrote:

I submitted a request for a resolution to ban fracking in Georgia to the Thomas County Board of Commissioners on 3/15/2015. So please, I would like the people of Thomas County to reinforce this and the people of all counties in Gerogia to do likewise. Together we can stop this crime!

Here’s the text of the request he sent to the Thomas County Commission: Continue reading

Eminent domain final notice from Sabal Trail

How many landowners has Sabal Trail sent final notices like this?

Update 2015-03-23: Added transcription; see more background here and you can write to the Clerk of Superior Court in Leesburg, GA against a possible summary judgement for surveying eminent domain in a hearing Tuesday morning 11:30 AM March 24th 2015.

300x388 Final request, in Eminent domain final notice from Sabal Trail, by John S. Quarterman, for SpectraBusters.org, 9 March 2015 It is imperative that Sabal Trail begin performing the remaining surveys. Please consider this letter as Sabal Trail’s final request for permission to conduct the surveys on a portion of your property…. Please note that Georgia statute O.C.G.A. 22-3-88, sets forth survey authority as related to this Project which has been affirmed in Georgia Court.

Imperative for a company from Houston to profit by gouging through local land and under our rivers and maybe into our aquifer. Not imperative for those of us who live here.

And the only Georgia court decision I’ve heard of is Continue reading

Post a bond if Palmetto Pipeline is not for export –Steve Willis to Kinder Morgan in Savannah

Calling their bluff at their very first “public hearing”, longtime environmental activist Steve Willis told Kinder Morgan that if they didn’t want the public to believe that their pipeline is for export, when it so conveniently runs past KM’s proposed Elba Island LNG export terminal and to Jacksonville where Jaxport is gearing up for LNG export, they should post a $100 million bond. Watch the KM rep’s face as soon as Steve says “export”; sure looks like “OMG, he’s on to us!”

Steve noted there is no local demand for KM’s petroleum products, and exports drive up local prices anyway. You don’t have to believe Steve, you can believe Continue reading

Revoke pipeline eminent domain –bill by Nebraska state Senator

It’s time to revoke laws that support the foreign aristocracy of invading fossil fuel companies.

Unicameral Update, 13 March 2015, Bill would revoke eminent domain for pipelines,

Oil and gas companies could no longer exercise eminent domain in Nebraska under a bill heard by the Judiciary Committee March 11.

LB473, introduced by Omaha Sen. Ernie Chambers, would repeal two provisions of the Major Oil Pipeline Siting Act: the right of eminent domain granted to oil and gas companies and the requirement that they seek approval of the governor when siting a major oil pipeline….

The act, approved by the Legislature during a 2011 special session, was designed to provide a regulatory framework for siting oil pipelines in the state. It was amended in 2012 to give the governor authority to approve major oil pipeline routes.

Concern over the state’s pipeline regulations was prompted by TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry crude oil from Canada to Gulf Coast oil refineries. The pipeline’s original route would have traversed the Ogallala Aquifer and Nebraska Sandhills.

And why should eminent domain apply anywhere to Spectra Energy’s proposed Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline to LNG export in Florida, through our drinking water Floridan Aquifer?

Chambers said his bill is Continue reading

If eminent domain is hardship to Mineral Interest Owners, it’s hardship to everyone else

If affected salt and other minerals in subsurface caverns are enough to deny a FERC permit, drinking water in the Floridan Aquifer should be, too. 1. Turtle Bayou Resolutions Marker, By Jim Evans, October 13, 2012 The “first formal protest of Texas colonists against Mexican tyranny” was signed at Turtle Bayou, Chambers County, Texas, where an Alabama Company four years ago wanted to store natural gas underground with an associated pipeline that FERC denied. Communities and local governments throughout the Floridan Aquifer have signed protests against fossil fuel company tyranny in the form of the unnecessary, destructive, and hazardous Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline.

FERC denied that permit application for Turtle Bayou Gas Storage Company in 2011; one of only two pipeline applications that FERC’s John Peconom could find that FERC ever denied. The applicant appealed. FERC replied in Dockets CP10-481-002 and CP10-481-000, ORDER DENYING REQUEST FOR REHEARING OR RECONSIDERATION (Issued April 11, 2012), Continue reading