Monthly Archives: December 2013

Local Levy County paper reports on landowner’s presentation to the Levy County Commission- a bit late.

Lou Elliott Jones wrote for the Williston Pioneer Monday, December 30, 2013 at 2:54 pm Williston lawyer asks county for help with pipeline

Williston resident and attorney Beth Gordon asked the Levy County Commission to use its authority to address safety and insurance concerns with the proposed Sabal Trail LLC gas pipeline that will be built through Levy County.

But while the commissioners listened, they did not debate taking any action. Commissioner Mike Joyner of Morriston (R-District 3) recommended Gordon speak with another attorney who is handling business for several residents with the pipeline company.

Gordon, who has also filed a protest against the line with the Florida Public Service Commission, said the 36-inch pipeline that will carry methane gas at 1,200 pounds per square inch of pressure through Alabama, Georgia and Florida will be buried only 3 feet from the surface. The line is being built by Spectra Energy for Florida Power and Light.

She asked the commission to invite Spectra Energy representatives to attend a commission meeting to answer residents’ questions about the pipeline. She said an open house hosted by Sabal on Dec. 9 in Williston did not provide answers to residents’ concerns. “Most people don’t even know we have it coming through.”

“The commission has many things it can do,” Gordon said. “It can require county easements to be used for the pipeline. It can require a certain amount of insurance.”

If an accident were to occur, Gordon said, “You certainly will be happy to have that insurance rather than having to sue Spectra Energy.”

See also Local Levy County web-based news site covers Levy County Commission.

Pipeline subsidence is Force Majeure –Florida Gas Transmission

Force Majeure, or an act of God, in other words “not our fault”, that’s what a methane pipeline company calls the 25-acre sinkhole in Assumption Parish, Louisiana. The same thing could happen in the soft limestone underlying all of Florida and south Georgia that contains our Floridan Aquifer, the source of our drinking water.

Found in Energy Transfer’s page for Florida Gas Transmission Company, LLC under Critical Notices:

Critical Notice
Notice ID: 39957
Notice Type: Force Majeure
Critical: Y
Notice Status Description: Initiate
Reqrd Rsp Desc: No response required
Posting Date/Time: Aug 15 2012 1:57PM
Subject: FORCE MAJEURE, Southern Portion of the Chacahoula Lateral & Napoleonville Interconnect, Assumption P
Notice Effective Date/Time: Aug 15 2012 1:54PM
Notice End Date/Time: Until further notice
Notice Text:

FORCE MAJEURE, Southern Portion of the Chacahoula Lateral & Napoleonville Interconnect, Assumption Parish, Louisiana (Revision #1) Continue reading Pipeline subsidence is Force Majeure –Florida Gas Transmission

Stop this rape of the “stakeholders” homes, farms, and lands –Sandra Y Jones to FERC

Filed with FERC 31 December 2013:

Sandra Y Jones, Moultrie, GA.

Sabal Trails Transmission LLC is attempting to install another 36 inch natural gas pipeline which will deliver 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day through Alabama, Georgia, and Florida based on a need for more fuel to run a new power plant.

They state this gas line will produce enough power for 4 million homes. They state their Gulfstream line, which they own with Williams Company, delivers 1.26 billion Bcf/day to Florida and that is enough to produce electricity for 4.5 million homes. Florida Gas Transmission sends nearly 3 billion Bcf/day. This line produces enough energy to power 13.5 million homes. This amount of natural gas would collectively produce enough power for twenty-two million homes according to Spectra’s information.

The total population for Florida is 19.32 million and 2.58 persons live in each household. According to the US Census 2012 repost, there are 9,031,051 households in the entire state. Also of interest is that presently only 60% of the power produced in Florida is produced by natural gas.

There is no need for this new pipeline. Sabal Trails is misrepresenting the truth. In a state where there are only 9,031,051 households why Continue reading Stop this rape of the “stakeholders” homes, farms, and lands –Sandra Y Jones to FERC

State pipeline safety regulations –NARUC

Did you know New York does not allow pipeline operators to downgrade any leaks while the federal government does not grade leaks at all? Washington state requires responses within 15 minutes for detection thresholds of 8% leak for full flow and no flow conditions applicable to hazardous liquid operators, while the federal government has only begun early discussions of this? That Kansas requires quality assurance inspection of all outside contractors, while federal regulations require only periodic workshops on quality assurance? Idaho requires NFPA 54 compliance before an operator is permitted to distribute gas, while the federal government does not? Illinois requires a full training program for operators, not just the minimum Operator Qualifications required by the federal government? All this and more from a recent report.

PR from the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners 23 September 2013, Updated Compendium Details State Actions on Pipeline Safety, Continue reading State pipeline safety regulations –NARUC

Local governments can restrict pipelines –Penn. Supreme Court

Alabama, Georgia, and Florida probably don’t even have a restrictive law like the Pennsylvania Supreme Court just struck down, so local governments in the states along the proposed Sabal Trail, Florida Southeast Connection, and Transco Hillabee Expansion Project pipelines apparently can pass restrictions on pipelines. As can state legislatures.

Mark Scolforo and Marc Levy wrote for Associated Press 20 December 2013, Pa. Gas Drilling Decision Leaves Future Uncertain,

The energy industry and policy makers in Pennsylvania, the heart of the nation’s gas drilling boom, are thinking about their next moves after the state’s highest court threw out significant portions of a law that limited the power of cities and counties to regulate the industry.

The state Supreme Court voted 4-2 on Thursday to strike down portions of a 2012 law that had been crafted by Gov. Tom Corbett and his industry-friendly allies in the Legislature.

The article talks about corporate “need”: Continue reading Local governments can restrict pipelines –Penn. Supreme Court

Spectra wants to be closer to the community in new Valdosta office

The community likes to visit that building, with signs and chants.

Winnie Anne Wright wrote for WCTV yesterday, Sabal Trail Transmission Opens Office in Valdosta,

Valdosta—Agents representing three counties affected by the Sabal Trail Natural Gas Pipeline will occupy the new office on North Patterson Street.

The Valdosta office is not the first office on the pipeline’s route. Susan Waller, with spectra energy says there are multiple offices in communities that are hosting the pipeline project.

“Having a local office for Sabal Trail really gives us the opportunity to be closer to the community. The residents and the different land owners that are affected by this, in the study corridor, I think it gives them an opportunity to get to know our representatives, and I do believe it improves and enhances our relationship with the community”, says Waller.

And the community still has many unanswered questions.

The community visited that building at 2010 North Patterson Street, also home of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA), to protest a proposed biomass plant in 2011 and a proposed private prison in 2012. Both times, the protesters won.


The Trans-Pacific Partnership and LNG exports

The same U.S. House subcommittee that wants to export liquid natural gas is pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The two subcommittee members are from Alabama and Florida represent counties in the paths of two Spectra methane pipelines.

Ted Poe (R TX-02) of Houston, Chairman of the SUBCOMMITTEE ON TERRORISM, NONPROLIFERATION, AND TRADE of the COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES spelled out the connection to natural gas in the panel discussion for the hearing on The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Outlook and Opportunities,

Hopefully, we will change that and become an exporter, especially of natural gas.

This meshes with his remark hearing on natural gas exports:

The Department of Energy has not approved an application to export to a country we don’t have a Free Trade Agreement with in 2 years.

Presumably he meant FERC, which bills itself as an independent agency. The point remains the same: Chairman Poe wants more free trade agreements for more LNG exports. In his opening statement to the TPP hearing he spelled out that he considers the Trans-Pacific Partnership to be a free trade agreement: Continue reading The Trans-Pacific Partnership and LNG exports

The Alliance opposes any new pipelines in these areas –Ichetucknee Alliance to FERC

Filed with FERC 17 December 2013 and on the Ichetucknee Alliance facebook group:

Lucinda F Merritt, Fort White, FL.

The Ichetucknee Alliance ( opposes placement of any new natural gas pipelines under, over or through the 5.5-mile long Ichetucknee River, including the area of Ichetucknee Springs State Park, the area of Columbia County that is included in the historic riverbed (the Ichetucknee Trace), and any part of the Ichetucknee Springshed.

The Alliance opposes any new pipelines in these areas for the following reasons.

The river and springs, including Ichetucknee Springs State Park, are Continue reading The Alliance opposes any new pipelines in these areas –Ichetucknee Alliance to FERC

Ichetucknee River Estates Landowners Association against the Sabal Trail pipeline

Spectra’s Sabal Trail pipeline wants to cross either the Ichetucknee River or the Santa Fe River in Florida, and a landowners association where those two rivers meet doesn’t want that.

Morgan Watkins wrote for 24 October 2013, Contracts for natural gas pipeline through Florida get initial OK,

Ichetucknee River Estates in Branford is one of the neighborhoods through which the pipeline is slated to run. Darryl Marshall, a neighborhood resident, is helping circulate a petition that opposes routing the pipeline through the residential community. The petition has around 25 signatures and he expects to have 70 or 80 by early November.

Marshall, a retired police officer, is worried about the impact on local wildlife as well as on the community as a whole.

“When I retired, I wanted to go Continue reading Ichetucknee River Estates Landowners Association against the Sabal Trail pipeline

Florida Public Service Commission Grants FP&L’s Motion to Dismiss my Petition- Because the damage is “speculative” and we are not FP&L customers- Really.

The Florida Public Service Commission relied upon their own precedent in Dismissing my Petition protesting the order granting permission for FP&L to go ahead with the SABAL TRAIL pipeline ( which was made by me and four other landowners in Levy and Sumter counties) because they said we do not have standing to bring such a safety-focused protest before them. Even though the pipeline will run through our land and past our bedrooms. Only if we were FP&L customers aggrieved by a high bill, or if we actually had PCB leaks on our properties, could we establish standing. Spectra’s scary record therefore was not of interest to them Their staff attorney pointed out to me on the phone that Spectra was not a Petitioner before their commission, and so they had no cause to consider their record. I plan on sending the Petition and the Order Dismissing to every newspaper I can think of. The Petition was dismissed for the above reasons, even though the Florida Commission (FLPSC) states this on their site’s home page:

The Florida Public Service Commission is committed to making sure that Florida’s consumers receive some of their most essential services — electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and wastewater — in a safe, reasonable, and reliable manner. In doing so, the PSC exercises regulatory authority over utilities in one or more of three key areas: rate base/economic regulation; competitive market oversight; and monitoring of safety….”

Order Granting Motion to Dismiss