Who is Sabal Trail, anyway? Counties resolving against Sabal Trail might want to make their resolutions against any new pipeline, since there’s already another one proposed for Suwannee County (see below).
Sabal Trail owned and operated by….
Reviving a pipeline idea that failed in the Florida PSC in 2009, FPL put out a request for proposals that was won by Sabal Trail in 2013. Note the original proposed Sabal Trail path in the map below did not go through Georgia; why that changed is a long story apparently only known in full to Spectra, FPL, and Williams Co.
Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC was formed by Spectra Energy Corp. of Houston, Texas, a big pipeline company NextEra Energy Co. of Juno, Beach, Florida, the parent company of FPL In May 2015, Duke Energy bought 7.5% of Sabal Trail Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC is managed by Sabal Trail Management, LLC, which is 100% owned by Spectra Energy.
For a list of all the LLCs owned 50% or more by Spectra Energy, see page 183 of Spectra’s annual SEC Form 10-K. Here’s the abbreviated list from Page 5:
We currently own an 82% equity interest in SEP, a natural gas, crude oil and NGL infrastructure master limited partnership, which owns 100% of Texas Eastern Transmission, LP (Texas Eastern), 100% of Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC (Algonquin), 100% of East Tennessee Natural Gas, LLC (East Tennessee), 100% of Express-Platte, 100% of Saltville Gas Storage Company L.L.C. (Saltville), 100% of Ozark Gas Gathering, L.L.C. (Ozark Gas Gathering) and Ozark Gas Transmission, L.L.C. (Ozark Gas Transmission), 100% of Big Sandy Pipeline, LLC (Big Sandy), 100% of Market Hub Partners Holding (Market Hub), 100% of Bobcat Gas Storage (Bobcat), 78% of Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, L.L.C. (M&N U.S.), 49.9% of Southeast Supply Header, LLC (SESH), 33% of DCP Sand Hills Pipeline, LLC (Sand Hills), 33% of DCP Southern Hills Pipeline, LLC (Southern Hills), 50% of Steckman Ridge, LP (Steckman Ridge) and 50% of Gulfstream Natural Gas System, L.L.C. (Gulfstream). We own another 4% indirect interest in Sand Hills and 4% indirect interest in Southern Hills through our ownership interest in DCP Midstream, which is considered our Field Services segment.
Spectra Energy is the operator of Sabal Trail, in perpetuity, as admitted by a Spectra Energy executive under oath in WWALS v Sabal Trail & FDEP.
Spectra is a 2007 spinoff from Duke Energy, which itself was earlier formed by a 1989 merger involving Texas Eastern Pipeline Co., which has a thirty-year rap sheet of corrosion, leaks, explosions, property damage, and fatalities. Both the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Canadian National Energy Board (NEB) have told Spectra to fix its systemic management problems, which include not following federal law or its own safety procedures. Details in this link, including allegations from two new whistleblowers about Spectra’s lax procedures, deer poaching, violating graveyards (yes, really), etc.
Sabal Trail contractors
Spectra uses contractors for Sabal Trail including at least TRC, MVP, and Cardno ENTRIX, according to testimony in WWALS v. Sabal Trail & FDEP.
A company called Geoview says it “has been tasked with helping to characterize geological features along the route.”
There are probably more contractors.
Sabal Trail collaborators
Sabal Trail plans to get its gas from Transco, which is a Williams Company pipeline across Alabama which aims to bring fracked methane from the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, and is even building another pipeline, Atlantic Sunriese, to get more of it from up there. Williams also has a long rap sheet of corrosion, leaks, explosions, etc. including fines and orders from PHMSA.
Williams and Spectra are the owners of the existing Gulfstream pipeline under the Gulf to Florida.
Kinder Morgan (KMI) owns the other existing pipeline to Florida, Florida Gas Transmission through the panhandle.
Kinder Morgan has applied to FERC for a natural gas pipeline from Suwannee County, explicitly able to connect Sabal Trail, which it calls the Jacksonville Expansion Project, FERC docket CP15-144. Jacksonville, which is gearing up for Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) export.
So, all these pipeline companies are in cahoots.
And if anyone thinks Sabal Trail is the end of it, it’s not.
Conflict of Interest
Finally, let’s not forget that Gov. Rick Scott owned, and as far as anyone can tell, still owns, stock in Spectra and a bunch of other pipeline companies.
What Can Be Done
If enough local governments speak up, maybe the state and federal governments will listen. That’s how the New York State fracking ban happened: lots of local governments passing resolutions and ordinances against, followed by a statewide ban.
Then maybe we could reform FERC and stop all new fossil fuel projects, turning faster to renewable sun and wind energy, with conservation and efficiency.
Speaking of fracking, there are two pro-fracking bills in the Florida legislature right now. And wouldn’t it be convenient for the frackers if there was a pipeline already in place?
So ask your local, state, and federal elected and appointed officials to stop Sabal Trail, stop KMI’s Jacksonville Expansion Project, stop fracking, and get on with solar power for the Sunshine State!