Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Big Picture

A followup to discussions in Moultrie, GA, 27 January 2014.

From: John S. Quarterman <>
Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2014 17:29:54 -0500
cc: John S. Quarterman <>
To: John Peconom <>
Subject: Re: Contact and the Big Picture

Howdy, and it was good to meet you in Moultrie.

I look forward to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission taking into account the whole big picture, and not just believing assertions by applicant companies without critical review.

Thanks for sending me this boilerplate, which I see appears in many FERC documents:

Any state or local permits issued with respect to the jurisdictional facilities authorized herein must be consistent with the conditions of this certificate. The Commission encourages cooperation between interstate pipelines and local authorities. However, this does not mean that state and local agencies, through application of state or local laws, may prohibit or unreasonably delay the construction of facilities approved by this Commission.

There was no source cited in the boilerplate, does it refer to this? Continue reading The Big Picture

Fracking unsafe in at least four states

If it’s so safe, why is it so hard to find out how safe it is? And why did injecting toxic chemicals into ground water ever get approved? Since methane leaks out of pipelines and compressor stations, as well as wells, it’s time to stop fracking and pipelines and get on with solar and wind power.

Kevin Begos wrote for AP 5:20 p.m. EST January 5, 2014, 4 states confirm water pollution from drilling

PITTSBURGH (AP) — In at least four states that have nurtured the nation’s energy boom, hundreds of complaints have been made about well-water contamination from oil or gas drilling, and pollution was confirmed in a number of them, according to a review that casts doubt on industry suggestions that such problems rarely happen.

The Associated Press requested data on drilling-related complaints in Continue reading Fracking unsafe in at least four states

Yet another fireball…..

explosion-638x351 CBC News 25 Jan 2014, Natural gas pipeline explodes near Otterburne, Man.: Thousands without heat south of Winnipeg as arctic blast moves in

A natural gas pipeline explosion near Otterburne, Man., 50 kilometres south of Winnipeg, has left thousands without heat as temperatures drop to -20 C, or -34 C with the wind chill.

A fire is out after burning for more than 12 hours at the site of a natural gas pipeline explosion near Otterburne, Man., about 50 kilometres south of Winnipeg. But officials say there are now natural gas outages affecting as many as 4,000 people in nearby communities, where temperatures dipped to near -20 C overnight.

The Rural Municipality of Hanover declared a state of local emergency Saturday afternoon in a release that said the outage was expected to last 24 to 72 hours.

The trouble began early Saturday when RCMP responded around 1:05 a.m. to a “loud explosion.”

Witnesses who live close to the scene said it was massive. Paul Rawluk lives nearby and drove to the site.

“As we got closer, we could see these massive 200 to 300 metre high flames just shooting out of the ground and it literally sounded like a jet plane,” he said. “And that’s the thing that really got us, was the sound of it.”

He said it was hard to describe the scale.

“Massive, like absolutely massive,” he said. “The police were by [Highway] 59 and you could just see little cars out there and you could see in comparison how big the flame was. It was just literally two to 300 metres in the air. And bright, I mean lit up the sky.”

The pipeline is owned by TransCanada, the same company that later lost a lawsuit in Nebraska for the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Ask FERC at the Moultrie Monday makeup Sabal Trail Open House



Valdosta, 24 January 2014 — The gas pipeline company has scheduled another Open House for Monday January 27th, 2014, perhaps because a local landowner complained to FERC about previous Sabal Trail meetings in Moultrie being during big local events. You can ask the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in person why they should approve that methane pipeline. Protesters against the pipeline will be out front starting about 4:45PM.

When:  5:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Monday, January 27
th 2014

Where: Holiday Inn Express
850 Veterans Parkway North
Moultrie, GA 31788

Why: Spectra Energy, which had compressor station leaks in Maine this month and in Pennsylvania last year, plus multiple fines by Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) for corrosion and leaks, and a record Continue reading Ask FERC at the Moultrie Monday makeup Sabal Trail Open House

A 36-inch pipeline blews up in Alabama

The pipeline Sabal Trail wants to connect to, Williams Transco in Alabama, blew up in 2011, flaming a hundred feet up, heard more than 30 miles away, left a crater more than 50 feet wide, destroyed 65 acres of trees, fried five acres of soil into pottery, and launched a 43-foot pipe section as a missile that landed 190 feet away. The cause was never announced. There was no construction going on, so could it be corrosion? Do we want another pipeline like that?

TXsharon wrote for Bluedaze drilling reform 2 January 2012, Pictures: Acres of devastation from Williams gas pipeline explosion in Alabama

Williams did some pigging just before this pipeline rupture but they didn’t receive the pigging results until after the explosion. The word from the locals in Alabama is that Williams is now frantically digging up parts of this same pipeline in several different locations which could indicate the problem is not isolated.Williams does not have a good track record of pipeline safety.

Jason Cannon wrote for Demopolis Times 3 December 2011, No cause known in explosion,

A Transco natural gas pipeline ruptured at approximately 3:07 p.m. Saturday with an explosion that could be heard for more than 30 miles while shooting flames nearly 100 feet in the air for over an hour….

Continue reading A 36-inch pipeline blews up in Alabama

Pipeline Opposition Mounts –Shale Property Rights

Spectra’s scent precedes it.

On Shale Property Rights 22 January 2014, Pipeline Opposition Mounts, Sabal Trail Pipeline – Spectra Energy’s Proposed Gas Transmission Pipeline Draws Citizen Opposition in 3 States: Georgia, Florida, Alabama
Spectra Energy Builds on its Reputation for Cynical Social Responsibility

Spectra Energy (NYSE: SE), the $5 billion pipeline and underground natural gas storage company, is now in a position where its reputation precedes it. When it holds community meetings to sell a proposed natural gas transmission pipeline, communities show up with pitchforks, figuratively speaking.

Despite airy promises about “stakeholder engagement” and commitment to “transparency and accountability,” word about Spectra Energy’s lack of responsiveness and ongoing problems at existing facilities is spreading to communities across states where it hopes to build more pipelines and compressor facilities.1, 2

For example, the Sabal Trail pipeline is a proposed 474-mile natural gas transmission pipeline Spectra Energy hopes to build through Alabama, Georgia and Florida. Current plans call for 7 large compressor stations along the pipeline route (to ˜push’ the gas through).

This is a joint venture between Spectra Energy and NextEra Energy, Inc. The contractor is Florida Power & Light (the key recipient for the nat gas). For details, see the Sabal Trail Transmission website:

It did not take “interstate” property owners long to mobilize. Here is a link to their energetic website: and one for their Facebook page:!/spectrabusters

Lessons from New York

Spectra Energy’s track record leaves a negative brand image across many states and in Canada.3

The article continues with lessons from New York, New Jersey, and some further comments about actions in Georgia and Florida. This, for instance, from Clare Donohue, a founding member of the Sane Energy Project in New York: Continue reading Pipeline Opposition Mounts –Shale Property Rights

3 minutes a question at Gilchrist County Commission 20 Feb 2014

Seen this morning on Gilchrist County to hold pipeline meeting in February. -jsq

Gas Pipeline Alert: Next meeting scheduled with Gilchrist County Commission and Sabal Trails gas Transmission Pipeline is February 20, 2014, time certain, 5 pm. At the Gilchrist County Administration building in Trenton, FL. All citizens and concerned parties in this vicinity of the Santa Fe River are encouraged to come. This is a Q and A with the company. You will be allowed 3 minutes to ask your question. Please remember to fill out a speaking card when you enter the building.

Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson
Our Santa Fe River, Inc.

Gilchrist County to hold pipeline meeting in February

One Florida county is taking the Sabal Trail pipeline proposal seriously, maybe because there are no fewer than three paths for the pipeline into Gilchrist County, Florida, all three crossing the Santa Fe River, and one first crossing the Ichetucknee River.

In his article about Glynn Bryan, Terry Witt wrote for Levy County Journal (undated), Bronson Area Property Owner Says Gas Pipeline Just an Atom Bomb,

Gilchrist County Administrator Bobby Crosby said the Gilchrist County Commission is planning for a February public meeting with Sabal Trail officials to answer questions about the pipeline.

Crosby said there are two proposed routes through Gilchrist County and rumors of a third route. He said he has been unable to get answers from Sabal Trail officials, but they are willing to answer questions from the public at the meeting.

“We’re kind of in the dark,” he said. “There’s nothing definite. I can’t get an answer from Sabal Trail.”

Sabal Trail’s preferred route has nine detail maps for Gilchrist County: crossing the Santa Fe River to enter the county, Duck Pond, Bell Quad, Cow Creek, Ginnie Spring, Neals, Waters Lake Quad, Union Church, and Newbury SW Quad, where it crosses into Alachua County.

Plus Sabal Trail’s alternate route maps include Gilchrist Westerly Deviation and Ichetucknee River Deviation: Continue reading Gilchrist County to hold pipeline meeting in February