FL Gov. Scott Sabal Trail permit conflict of interest –FloridaBulldog

Florida’s Governor Rick Scott owns Williams Co. and other pipeline company stock, and that’s an issue with FL-DEP’s intent to issue a permit for Sabal Trail, says the reporter who broke the Rick Scott conflict story a year ago.

Dan Christensen, FloridaBulldog, 4 August 2015, Gov. Scott’s pipeline investment gets a boost from Florida environmental regulators,

The Board of Trustees of Florida’s Internal Improvement Trust Fund owns the submerged lands, according to DEP’s notice. The board is comprised of the governor and Cabinet — Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and state chief financial officer Jeff Atwater.

There’s much more in the story, including that WWALS Watershed Coalition intends to file a protest with FL-DEP by this Friday, August 7th. WWALS confirms that, and adds:

The article didn’t mention that Williams Company is also the owner of Transco, whose Hillabee Expansion Project across Alabama is where Sabal Trail intends to get its fracked methane, and is also one of the three parts of the so-called Southeast Market Pipelines Project, all three submitted all at the same time to FERC, with the same environmental review, with the same environmental contractor The third part is FPL’s own Florida Southeast Connection from Orlando to Martin County, Florida, where three companies are already authorized by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy to export Liquified Natural Gas (LNG).

Does this seem like a conflict of interest to you?


22 thoughts on “FL Gov. Scott Sabal Trail permit conflict of interest –FloridaBulldog

  1. Who cares what co. or who owns stock in the pipe line,the fact is natural gas is cheap with all the reserves we have in the US.Would you rather have nuclear and have the chance of an accident look at Russia and Japan,or how about coal when the air gets so bad you need a mask to breath.Until we switch to solar and wind power natural gas is the best bet and pipe lines are the safest way to transport it. for all out there who are against pipelines,the next time you adjust your thermostat to get comfortable think about what it takes to produce electricity.

      1. John I agree with what you are saying about solar and wind, but the facts are that Florida is not pushing that hard for solar, the invester owned electric co. are not keen on solar and wind.I have heard the possibility of a tax being placed on people like myself who have solar.Nothing would make me any happer than to see solar panels on every roof hare in Fl.I just returned from a trip to NY (up state) I saw more solar systems on roofs there than you see here in Fl.( go figure) NY has an average daily sunlite of 2.6 hrs.where as here 6.8 hrs.So for now we need to bridge the gap with N.G.

        1. Actually, Southern Company subsidiary Gulf Power and Duke Energy are pushing for solar in Florida:


          Southern Company wasn’t for solar until citizens and groups pushed the Georgia PSC two years ago to make Georgia Power buy twice as much solar power as it wanted to, and now Georgia Power is selling rooftop solar power while installing 30MW and up solar farms:


          While Florida is ramping up offshore wind for the gap hours, there’s already more than enough gas already arriving to support solar power.

          Add conservation as EPA pointed out last spring, and Florida can go straight to solar power right now.


          If Georgia can do it, the Sunshine State can do it.

    1. But it is a process where those powerful corporations and those corrupt people get to take other’s land for their own profit leaving their victims to continue paying the taxes but unable to replant the trees.

    2. We care and so should any thinking person because those who stand to benefit financially should not be making these controversial decisions. Have you considered that the SUNshine state might be more conservative by investing in the infrastructure to utilize Solar power as an adjunct to whatever is the primary source? If one is foolish and gullible enough to believe these people that are running roughshod over sensitive areas, are doing so simply to provide cheap power for the masses, think again. They are EXPORTING it. There is no benefit to the citizens unless they own stock in those companies.

    1. JOHN your statement about enough gas to support solar and wind would be correct if we had all the solar and wind farms,but we don”t. As of now all the gas flowing in the 30 and 36 inch of Fl. gas and the 36 inch Gulf stream lines are all spoken for. The sabal trail is necessary to supply needed gas to the martin co. power plant. If this was not a needed pipeline F.E.R.C. would not issue a permit to build it. If and when we get these wind and solar farms you are right there would be enough gas to bridge the gap hrs. At this point I would rather see a pipe line being built than 100’s of rail cars loaded with coal

  2. As mentioned, conservation would reduce demand, and that would free up existing sources.


    Maybe Sabal Trail’s gas is intended for those three LNG export operations already authorized for Martin County, FL: http://spectrabusters.org/lng-export/#Florida

    Good joke you told, though: “If this was not a needed pipeline F.E.R.C. would not issue a permit to build it.”

    FERC, which is 100% funded by the industries it “regulates”, has only ever denied two pipelines, according to FERC staff: http://spectrabusters.org/2014/03/10/orders-denying-certificates/

    The good news is that one of those denials was for a Spectra pipeline, so it could happen again: http://spectrabusters.org/2015/07/07/spectra-already-lost-at-ferc-once-could-also-lose-at-nrc/

    No need for new pipelines or rail cars: solar is growing plenty fast enough worldwide to meet new power demand: http://www.l-a-k-e.org/blog/2015/08/renewable-energy-worlds-second-largest-source-of-electricity.html

    With Duke and SO backing a Florida solar financing law, there’s a good chance Florida will join the sunny future next legislative session: http://www.l-a-k-e.org/blog/2015/07/southern-company-and-duke-backing-solar-florida.html


    1. John I do like to tell a good joke once in awhile and you are right F.E.R.C. does some times deny permits. Back in 1994 when the FL. gas projects were being built another job was in the process of permitting (the sunshine) F.E.R.C. denied it. At that time they said the demand was not there. Fast forward to 2001 phase 1 of the Gulf stream was built 2004 phase 2 look around the demand is here more houses built more people moving to FL. as time goes on the demand increases.As to FL. going solar(would love to see it) don’t hold your breath the politions are not for it (cuts in to invester profits) who support them.

      1. John I want to add something else you mention people conserving, it dosn’t happen.I don’t know if you have kids,try training them to conserve.When I was home I was on them all the time about turning out lights when they left a room or why are you taking those long showers?(long showers started when they started to notice girls) 2 boys.My wife and I are fortunate to have a comfortable income,we still do our best to conserve.I have tried to talk to people about conserving, they look at me as if I am from outer space.You mentioned that some power cos. are going to build solar and wind farms,i know this is true they know popular demand is calling for not because they are concerned about our planet.I can assure you that’s not going to lower our bills,for them it is still about t he dollar.Every month when I get my bill in the mail (old school) they put in a flyer telling us what great things the are doing for me.My power comes from a coop,there would always be a note trying to convince there customers that solar was not practable, and how cheap clean coal is (no such thing as clean coal).2 months ago an article telling us that the power co. they get there power from is going to build a solar farm and what a great thing it is going to be.I am sure they know they will still make money (my opinion)as for Duke and SO backing a solar finance law you think maby there might be something in it for them? (my opinion).

  3. Charles,

    Of course there’s something in it for the power companies. As Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning said back in May when he announced SO was going to sell rooftop solar panels, “people want to buy it, so I’m going to sell it to them!”

    Meanwhile, Alabama Power is going to its state PSC asking to buy more solar power because its corporate customers are demanding it.


    Cities also want solar power, and are getting on with it, like Lakeland, FL just did:



    1. Lakeland politics have shifted to democratic, thanks to environmentalist and union members voting. That’s how we change the mindset of the republican dominated state legislature in Florida. I want to back up and clarify who owns what. I am not a fan of Rick Scott, didn’t vote for him the first or second time, wouldn’t vote for him if he was the only candidate running. I am a democrat and proud of it. Guess which side the republicans are on, not the side we are on. I want to stress to you, I hope everything you say about solar comes true. We believe in solar, we have our own solar hot water and photovoltaic system on our home. At the time in 2006 when I planned on installing this system, I was told by the power company I was wasting my money and they had all kind of reasons I shouldn’t install my system. I was one of the first to install a system in my area. The power company went so far as to tell me, they would not allow me to do it. I had to educate them to the fact that I was going to install solar and they couldn’t stop me. I would like to see everyone have solar panels on their roofs. One more thing, when they do start putting in the solar farms and wind farms, which republicans are fighting, the public demand is getting stronger. You are right about solar but the same thing is going to happen when the construction starts, people are going to complain about the eye sores with off shore wind turbines (which I think would be a beautiful site). The argument will go on, the pipeline will disappear from the mindset and site in a short period of time. I enjoy these debates, you do have some good points that I agree with 100%. But I also think you are not that educated that much on the building and construction of pipelines and what it can mean to a community. For sure, there are companies that will profit from this. When the solar and wind farms come in, the demand will not be so great for natural gas and at that point, these gas companies will look for alternative ways to sell gas. This will include distribution lines to communities which will replace electrical appliances with gas appliances. Gas is cheap and getting cheaper everyday. It can have a positive spin-off. Don’t look for power companies to lower their prices even when they go to solar and wind. The millionaires will still want their profits. Greed never stops.

  4. Charles,

    Solar power is already cheaper, faster to install, far cleaner, and needs no eminent domain and no pipelines for fuel.

    Fracked methane is going to go belly-up because it’s too cheap for the frackers to profit; not unless they can export to countries with higher prices. And they’re unlikely to get that done before solar continues to get even less expensive. Southern Company suddenly shifted to pushing solar power. Even FPL won’t be able to hold out much longer.

    It’s good you’re for solar power. Maybe you’d like to start working for it. As you say, that’s how democracy works.


    1. John, you are right about solar being cheaper, faster to install. But you are forgetting once the solar farm is built, they have to run the wires either overhead, which to me is ugly, would rather not see them, or put them underground which requires digging just like a pipeline (although maybe not as much space), they still tear up the ground for a period of time. You are right about natural gas being cheap because we have so much of it. Don’t think for one minute it will go away. Gas and oil companies will still find a way to sell that product, hence pipelines. My wife and I are doing our bit to promote solar and wind.

  5. Charles,

    Now you’re into real comedy, comparing a few hundred feet of power lines to hundreds of miles of pipeline. While omitting that solar farms don’t require eminent domain, no pipelines for fuel, no cooling water, no emissions, no corrosion, leaks, or explosions.

    Everybody from bankers to politicians can see the fracking bubble is going to pop, just like the coal bubble already did. Well, except pipeline executives and investors who want to get a last chunk of change before they retire on their golden parachutes. Let International Banker explain it:

    If you actually want to promote solar and wind, quit shilling for the pipeline plutocrats who are laughing at how they duped all those low-paid pipeline company employees into invading and destroying land, water, and air of other people just like those employees.


  6. John, I don’t know what you call low wages? Unless you call $40.00 an hr. + benefits low. Don’t take my word for it call the local union hall for operating engineers in each state. You are right I do promote pipelines, and will continue to do so. From your posts you sound bitter about others making money. looking forward to more of them.

  7. Greg, If you have read my earlier post I agree about the trees. I don’t like to see them cut down. For the land owners that have trees cut, they will be well paid for them. If they are skilled negotiators they might be able to get new trees planted on other parts of there land out of the pipeline ROW. As to taxes go to your tax assessor see if they can get there taxes lowered when the trees are gone. Won’t know until you try. Your reference to victims, when I lived in upstate NY my father had 2 pipelines running across our farm. He didn’t look like a victim to me when he smiled all the way to the bank with the check and was still able to plant crops where the pipeline was. To him it was free money.

  8. Charles Kelly,

    You apparently have no idea how much pipeline company executives get paid.
    They exploited you for their profit, just like they exploit landowners.

    No one-time payment is adequate for permanent destruction.


    1. John, I do know what executives make, millions. The last job I was on in 2010-11, the job lasted 13 months. I made over $200,000.00. I love being exploited. The fact is, I could have been one of the execs. if I wanted to go that direction. I knew enough people that I could have climbed that ladder. I enjoyed what I was doing. Not cut out for an office job. Tried it once, didn’t like it, went back to the pipeline. I enjoy going out to my shop, working on my cars, doing all the fun things I like to do. I can work a pipeline job, make a couple hundred thousand, kick back, draw my pension, LIFE IS GOOD. That’s capitalism. It’s something like a beehive, you have the queen, you have the worker bees. The worker bees get some of the honey too.

      1. Another thing, you talk about the destruction of land. Land is being destroyed every moment. Look at the shopping centers, taking a dirt road and turning it into a four or six lane highway, office buildings. They all destroy the land and chase away the animals that you seemed to be so concerned about. There is no argument about a pipeline. The grass comes back and the land is returned to nature. The animals never have to worry about a high rise and getting chased away.

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