Dougherty County actually read what Sabal Trail is offering and is horrified.
Carlton Fletcher, Albany Herald, 14 March 2016, Dougherty County officials upset over Sabal Trail ‘threat’: Pipeline builder makes ‘final offer’ for land before it says it will resort to eminent domain,
Dougherty County commissioners weren’t exactly pleased by what some called an implied “threat” from Sabal Trail Transmission officials during discussion of a right-of-way easement Monday morning.
Sabal Trail, the company set to build the 465-mile natural gas pipeline that will pass through parts of southern Dougherty County, sent the county its “final offer” for 0.14-acre of land that the company needs for a right-of-way easement to cross the Percosin Canal located along Percosin Lane. The land is near the site of a planned compressor station that will be used to help push up to 1.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas through the pipeline daily.
Sabal Trail officials upped their offer on the land, which is owned by the county, from $800 to $3,001, saying that amount was a final offer. Officials with the Houston-based company said their appraisal of the property indicated it was worth $600.
At least Dougherty County negotiated. And look, they got an offer almost four times higher! Not that any one-time payment is enough.
We don’t even know if the thirty pieces of silver Lowndes County took for an easement was the first offer.
Back to the Herald article.
But the language of Sabal Trail’s offer rankled commissioners, who were told their refusal to accept the $3,001 would trigger eminent domain proceedings.
“They’re, in effect, using eminent domain as a threat to move this process forward, but they’re asking us to accept their proposal without supplying us with critical information,” District 5 Commissioner Harry James said after the meeting. James questioned Sabal Trail Construction Specialist Bob Grantham extensively about details of the company’s plans for the property.
“Read this,” James said, indicating a proposed grant of easement provided by Sabal Trail officials. He’d highlighted a passage that read: “After the pipeline facilities have been constructed hereunder, grantee (Sabal Trail) shall not be liable for such damages in the future caused by keeping the right-of-way clear.”
“What they’re saying is that even if there is something wrong with the work they do on the pipeline in that area, the county taxpayers will be responsible,” James continued. “If they pour faulty concrete, there is a crack, and 100 people end up dying from the results, the county taxpayers will be held liable. My concern is making sure this work meets our standards before our taxpayers are liable.”
Oh, there’s much worse than that, starting with Sabal Trail is offering a one-time payment for something from which they would profit indefinitely, right up to claims of right of review and approval over local governments and developers. And once there’s one pipeline, it’s a pipeline corridor, just asking for more pipelines.
Keep holding out, Dougherty County! The State of Georgia hasn’t approved easements to drill under rivers, including the Flint. Why should you?