The Empire Strikes Back: Spectra sues FL,GA,AL landowners

Reciting from the standard pipeline playbook, Spectra has started suing landowners. This while doughty rebels defeated 34 aye to 128 nay easements to drill under Georgia rivers, which could put a crimp in the Sabal “Sinkhole” Trail fracked methane boondoggle. Can we the people beat the Mickey Mouse fossil fuel empire?

Paul Brinkmann, Orlando Sentinel, 22 March 2016, Sabal Pipeline project files 160 eminent domain lawsuits,

The pipeline company insists that it already has federal and court authority to seize the property under the Natural Gas Act. Sabal claims its project must be under construction by June 21 and in service, by May 1, 2017.

Sabal Trail pipeline

According to maps provided by the utilities, the Sabal pipeline would come through the Four Corners area of northwestern Osceola County, dip south of Walt Disney World property, cross Interstate 4 near Celebration and connect with a hub of pipelines just west of Reunion Resort Golf Course.

The Greenpointe property is one of the biggest properties targeted in Central Florida. The Sabal Trail Transmission project is seeking almost 20 acres for a 50-foot wide easement through the site. McGratty, a court-appointed receiver for the property, says he’s been negotiating in good faith.

“They made me an offer of $600,000. But I’ve got a 1,000 acre ranch, and an application in for 2,400 homes and more development,” McGratty said. “They want to run pipeline right through the center of my property.”

He believes the easement and the damage it could cause to the proposed Greenpointe project would reach around $13 million in damages if he’s allowed to litigate.

Interesting mention here:


The Sabal Trail Transmission project is no stranger to controversy. A website called lists dozens of environmental groups and activists who have already opposed the pipeline project.

“This pipeline would feed an FPL power plant in Florida for no benefit to citizens of Alabama or Georgia, while tearing a 100 foot wide right of way through all three states,” the website says. “There’s no excuse for another natural gas pipeline when solar power is cheaper and brings jobs and energy.”

The property lawsuits come at a time of heightened publicity about natural gas leak dangers, following a massive leak near Porter Ranch, Calif., where Southern California Gas Co. reported in October that up to 1,200 tons per day were flowing from a storage well. It wasn’t until February that the leak was fully capped. Residents in the area fled their homes after enduring nosebleeds and nausea.

Porter Ranch, the fossil fuel industry’s Three Mile Island, or maybe Chernobyl.


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