Sabal Trail announced pipe supplier contracts before filing with FERC

Rubberstamp FERC process? Sabal Trail seems to think so, since it announced two contracts with Berg Pipe to manufacture pipe several days before it even formally filed with FERC for a permit, and the winning contractor announced a full week before that filing. Sabal Trail claimed economic benefits for Alabama and Florida, but apparently couldn’t come up any for Georgia. You can contact your local, state, and federal elected and appointed officials about this.

FERC published Sabal Trail’s formal filing 21 November 2015. Earlier that same week, 17 November 2015, Sabal Trail put out two press releases, one each for Alabama and Florida:

The rest of each release goes on like that, mostly the same, except each one tuned for its target state, claiming Berg employee counts of 225 in Mobile, AL and 300 in Panama City, FL. Nowhere does any of the PR mention any additional jobs are temporary, nor that the pipeline would destroy farms, fields, and forests, nor that Sabal Trail has been threatening eminent domain for more than a year, nor that pipelines leak and explode, and could produce sinkholes in our fragile karst limestone that could leak into our drinking water in the Floridan Aquifer.

Even that’s not the earliest PR. Salzgitter AG PR 13 November 2014, Salzgitter Group’s Berg participations secure two major pipeline orders,

The Salzgitter Group participations Berg Steel Pipe Corp. and Berg Spiral Pipe Corp., both located in the United States, have been awarded two major contracts to manufacture pipes for new natural gas infrastructure that will serve the southeastern United States.

The two companies in Panama City and Mobile are subsidiaries of EUROPIPE GmbH, Mülheim, Germany, a joint venture of Salzgitter AG and AG der Dillinger Hüttenwerke.

Berg was selected to provide approximately 625 miles of 30-inch and 36-inch steel pipe (346.000 tons) to the Sabal Trail Transmission and Florida Southeast Connection natural gas pipeline projects. As demand continues to grow, the pipeline projects will increase the Southeast region’s access to clean, domestic natural gas in the years ahead.

Subject to regulatory approval, Sabal Trail Transmission and Florida Southeast Connection will expand the natural gas infrastructure and supply to meet the Southeastern U.S.’s growing natural gas needs in 2017. A joint venture of affiliates of Spectra Energy Partners, LLC and NextEra Energy, Inc., Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC is a new interstate natural gas pipeline that will originate in southwestern Alabama and transport natural gas to Georgia and Florida, terminating at a new Central Florida Hub south of Orlando, Fla. A wholly owned subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc., Florida Southeast Connection will transport gas from Sabal Trail’s Central Florida Hub to Florida Power & Light Company’s Martin Clean Energy Center in Indiantown, Fla.

Also no mention of the three already-authorized LNG export operations right where that pipeline chain ends in Florida, even though the American Petroleum Institute (API) claims one of them, Carib’s Martin County LNG, is “critical to U.S. export goals”. Goals that would raise the price of natural gas in the United States, so why would we want those LNG exports?

There’s no separate PR for Georgia, and none of all this PR even mentions Georgia. Apparently not even Sabal Trail could come up with any alleged economic benefits for Georgia.

So why should Georgia accept any of Sabal Trail’s risks?

Why should Alabama or Florida accept a few temporary jobs for massive destruction and long-term hazards? You can contact your local, state, and federal elected and appointed officials about this.


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