After FPL visited it, the Suwannee County Commission decided they couldn’t do anything; nevermind that pipeline and fracking ordinances have worked in Pennsylvania and New York state, and there’s no reason to believe they wouldn’t in Florida. There’s still time for the Commissioners to stand up for the citizens of Suwannee County, Florida.
John S. Koch wrote for Suwannee Valley Times 8 October 2014, Sable Trail – Suwannee Commissioners say gas pipeline needed
The commission chairman noted that they have a copy of the resolution passed recently by the Hamilton County Commission addressing the issue as well as all the information about the Sable Trails Project released by the company handling the project. However, the board has taken no action one way or the other.
The key phrase in there seems to be “all the information about the Sable Trails Project released by the company handling the project”. Perhaps the Commission would like to dig a little deeper than information produced by the one company with the most vested interest in saying the pipeline is a great thing. This would be the same Chairman who denied his previous on-video Sabal Trail comments after he heard from FPL.
Phil Oxendine has a problem with the pipeline but not for safety concerns but rather political reasons. “We are overseas right now and that reason is because of our need for oil and the sooner we get away from that use the better we all will be.” Oxendine also feels it is not in the best interest of the country to export the gas but that is an entirely different issue he said.
Nevermind the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled 6 June 2014 that FERC must consider cumulative effects of pipeline projects. Seems to me LNG export that would drastically raise domestic gas prices might be a cumulative effect.
A Commissioner feels local landowners should give up their land because of what evidence?
Commissioner Jason Bashaw summed up the situation by saying, “It does not matter what local ordinances or regulations are approved concerning this project because once the federal government decides where the pipeline will go that’s where it will go and that will be that.” Those against the project say they will continue to lobby the commission to take action as well as conduct a public education program about the dangers of this pipeline and the possible consequences that may come about because of it.
The Commissioner didn’t say on what legal basis he made that legal deduction.
Nevermind the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in December 2013 said local governments could indeed regulate pipelines with local ordinances. Suwannee County, Florida could try it and see if the situation is the same in Florida.
Or Suwannee County could wait and see if there’s some big pipeline accident like the one for which Pennsylvania fined Spectra $18.6 million in 1991, plus $200 million in cleanup fees. Fighting a legal battle to get such a fine or cleanup fees could be a bit of a drain on the budget.