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
The 157-mile Sabal Trail pipeline would cross nine Georgia counties, four rivers, three state parks and thousands of acres of environmentally sensitive wetlands, forests and meadows. Opposition is strongest at the end points — Albany and Valdosta….
Opponents, who include hundreds of local officials, farmers, retirees, college students, geologists, big landowners and a former U.S. senator, say building more pipelines is bad energy policy or just don’t want one on or near their properties.
The article also mentions Kinder Morgan’s southeast Georgia Palmetto Project and Elba Island LNG, plus Transco and Atlanta Gas Light’s Dalton Expansion Project; yes, the same Transco Sabal Trail expects to use as methane source.
Sabal Trail “does nothing to benefit us,” said Jed Daniel, 37, whose Terrell County cotton and peanut farm is targeted for a mile-long section of pipe. “They’re using us. They’ll make a mint and we’re left with the liability.”
By law, Spectra can acquire rights-of-way by eminent domain — but only if some of the gas carried is consumed in Georgia. Spectra last fall announced a deal with the Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia to tap into the pipeline near Albany and Moultrie for an undetermined future use.
But the city of Albany and surrounding Dougherty County have each passed resolutions opposing the pipeline, as have Terrell and Lowndes counties and the city of Valdosta. Critics say the taps are solely to justify use of eminent domain.
“The most powerful argument against the pipeline is that virtually all the cities and counties in southwest Georgia that might be affected by this pipeline say they don’t want it,” said Steve Caley, an attorney with Atlanta-based GreenLaw representing Spectra opponents .
“The citizens sure could use some help from their governor in raising questions about a pipeline that won’t benefit anyone in Georgia and takes people’s private property through eminent domain.”
Gov. Nathan Deal declined comment.
‘Suspicion, mistrust and resentment’
Gloria Gaines, at a packed hearing in Albany last year, accused Spectra of fueling “suspicion, mistrust and resentment in the community.” Gaines, a retired MARTA official, singled out Spectra’s purchase of a plot of land on the city’s south — and predominantly African-American — side for a pipeline pump station.
A Spectra official at the meeting said the 11-acre site was purchased on spec, but nonetheless acknowledged violating the community’s trust by not being more open to concerns.
More about that Albany compressor station:
“No issue has so galvanized this community,” Gaines, a former Dougherty County commissioner, said recently. “There will be noise pollution. It’s a threat to our groundwater. It’s a job-killer for our struggling community. And there are communities far more rural (and less-populated) than this, the largest African-American community in the region.”
Spectra’s Grover said the nearest home will experience a decibel level no louder than “a modern-day dishwasher.”
I wonder why Sabal Trail might have a trust problem?
PS: More here.
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This article is behind a “paywall.” I have posted a PDF of it at http://ww2.valdosta.edu/~dmthieme/Withlacoochee/Chapman_2015.pdf