Sabal Trail repeatedly sent letters to landowners claiming Georgia eminent domain authority –SpectraBusters to judge

SpectraBusters sent examples of Sabal Trail’s many threats of eminent domain, in this letter to Leesburg for the ongoing eminent domain and criminal trespass trial.

300x388 Standing, in Sb leesburg, by John S. Quarterman, for, 31 March 2015

Re: Case number 14CV208RS
Judge Rucker Smith

To: Cindy Clark
Civil Deputy Clerk
County Courthouse
100 Leslie Highway
Leesburg, Georgia 31763

If it please the court,

SpectraBusters, Inc. is a Georgia nonprofit corporation with board members and other participants in all three states directly affected by the Sabal Trail proposed pipeline: Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. The SpectraBusters board voted Monday March 30th 2015 to send this letter to the court to express our concerns about Sabal Trail’s attempts to claim Georgia eminent domain long before it tried to claim customers in Georgia, as well as possible ill effects throughout the pipeline route, especially in Georgia, if the judge were to rule in this case for application of Georgia eminent domain. Even with Sabal Trail’s claimed agreement with the Metropolitan Gas Authority of Georgia (MGAG), Sabal Trail is still “a long way” Continue reading

Georgia has no use for new pipelines –AJC

Four pipeline projects surround Atlanta, and Georgia’s governor won’t comment. Spectra’s Andrea Grover did, though, saying the Albany compressor station would be no louder than “a modern-day dishwasher.”

Dan Chapman, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 3 April 2015, Pipeline project fuels fight on state’s future,

VALDOSTA — Southwest Georgia is roiling mad over a proposed gas pipeline to Florida that virtually nobody in Atlanta, except Ted Turner, has heard about.

John Carlton looks over a gopher tortoise hole a few feet away from a 1954 easement for an 8 inch natural gas line on his property at Morrison Pines Plantation in Moultrie. The planned Sabel Trail pipeline would run 50 feet over from the existing line. Carlton is undecided on the proposal.
Photograph credit: Curtis Compton, AJC

Electric Power & Light has more of the text: Continue reading

Likely loss of drilling fluid in limestone under rivers –FL DEP to FERC

Apparently the Florida Department of Environmental Protection complained to FERC that any drilling under our blackwater rivers would leak contaminants into the karst limestone that contains our drinking water Floridan Aquifer:

Update 2015-04-03: Additions now that FERC eLibrary is working, including third point below.

  • Sabal Trail underestimated karst features—additional, more recent data available from agencies including LiDAR, potentiometric surface maps, and cave maps.
  • Highest agency concern is associated with likely loss of drilling fluid associated with HDDs in limestone bedrock including at the Suwannee, Santa Fe, and Withlacoochee rivers.
  • Drilling fluid loss would have an environmental impact; risk and magnitude of impact on groundwater, wells and springs should be based on updated, site-specific information.

Filed with FERC 1 April 2015 as Continue reading

Seize the opportunity to end fossil fuels and soar with sun, wind, and water power

The opportunity is here right now, with oil and gas dropping while solar power goes up like a rocket. We can end the century-long domination of fossil fuels and get on with a cleaner, safer, more prosperous world powered by sun, wind, and water. Oh, and pry those clammy oily hands off our political systems while we’re at it. Solar power is going to win anyway. And we have the opportunity to speed that victory fast enough to stop the fracking-junkie pipeline push, including stopping Sabal Trail and the Palmetto Pipeline.

Jon Queally, Commondreams, 25 March 2015, Naomi Klein: Shock of Oil Price Plunge Is Opportunity World Must Seize,

“Sometimes capitalism gives us a gift, and the sudden drop in oil prices is one of them. Think of what we could do, in rolling out renewable energy, for instance. We could take power and wealth generation away from multinationals and put it into the hands of communities. And we could ensure that the jobs paid a living wage and went to the people who need it most. The same goes for our food and transit systems.”

Continue reading

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, 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