Tag Archives: transparency

Real questions at Gilchrist County Commission

Two hours of first questions from a citizens committee with Spectra’s reps expected to answer right there in front of everybody, then questions from locals and people from many counties around, including attorneys representing landowners and other county commissions cross-examining Spectra on the spot. The Chairman of the Gilchrist County Commission said there was a general opinion among the populace that they were asking specific questions and getting only general answers. Congratulations, Chairman, Commission, staff, Committee, and everyone who asked questions for showing the world how it’s done, and for exposing Spectra’s evasions to public scrutiny.

Brian Fahrenthold (Spectra), Pete Butts (Citizen Committee), Bobby Crosby (County Administrator), Stephanie Denardo (WUFT), David M. Lang Jr. (County Attorney), Gilchrist County Commission, County Clerk, and more Spectra reps in foreground

You’ll see for yourself in the videos of the whole thing. Almost all: so much both camera batteries ran down, and it took a bit to find a plug.

One of the citizen committee questions was about Spectra’s safety record. Brian Fahrenthold assured the commission that Continue reading Real questions at Gilchrist County Commission

FERC FOIA not transparent even internally

Received yesterday by email to me and Beth Gordon. -jsq

*John and Beth,*

*Regarding your FOIA questions, I’ve contacted the Commission’s Offices of External Affairs and General & Administrative Law, and have determined that the best course of action to fully and accurately respond to your questions would be for you to speak directly with our FOIA Public Liaison Ms. Toyia Jackson. I was hoping to be able to answer your questions myself; however, I believe that it would be better if Ms. Jackson responded to you. As the Commission’s FOIA Public Liaison she is much more capable than I to answer your questions. I have forwarded your questions to her and we have discussed the conversations each of us have had. Ms. Jackson’s contact information is:*

*Toyia Johnson*, FOIA Public Liaison
Office of External Affairs
Telephone: 202-502-6088


Continue reading FERC FOIA not transparent even internally

Fracking unsafe in at least four states

If it’s so safe, why is it so hard to find out how safe it is? And why did injecting toxic chemicals into ground water ever get approved? Since methane leaks out of pipelines and compressor stations, as well as wells, it’s time to stop fracking and pipelines and get on with solar and wind power.

Kevin Begos wrote for AP 5:20 p.m. EST January 5, 2014, 4 states confirm water pollution from drilling

PITTSBURGH (AP) — In at least four states that have nurtured the nation’s energy boom, hundreds of complaints have been made about well-water contamination from oil or gas drilling, and pollution was confirmed in a number of them, according to a review that casts doubt on industry suggestions that such problems rarely happen.

The Associated Press requested data on drilling-related complaints in Continue reading Fracking unsafe in at least four states

Appeal to redacted FOIA –Beth Gordon

“If Sabal Trail and Spectra energy are not guilty of invasion of privacy, why isn’t the public need to know and educate equally if not more important?”

That’s the gist of Beth Gordon’s appeal of 12 January 2014 to FERC’s redacted landowner list in response to her FOIA request. Here’s more:

It is my opinion that there is no privacy interest in the mere name and mailing address of an individual, particularly where, as here, Sabal Trail and Spectra energy has already used them numerous times to send unsolicited letters, invitations, and demands to survey. If Sabal Trail and Spectra energy are not guilty of invasion of privacy, why isn’t the public need to know and educate equally if not more important? The public right to know who is affected, to become educated, and to understand what is at stake ought not to be left to a private energy corporation that stands to make millions of dollars by getting this project approved with the least amount of resistance from landowners. FERC’S refusal to release these names and mailing addresses ensures that Sabal Trail and Spectra Energy are the only ones with the ability to contact these individuals (which they have done numerous times) and “educate them” as to this particular pipeline project.

In the Act generally, and particularly under Exemption (6), there is a strong presumption in favor of disclosure.” Continue reading Appeal to redacted FOIA –Beth Gordon

Spectra fails to answer landowner questions in Clyattville

Winnie Anne Wright wrote for WCTV yesterday, Sabal Trail Transmission Hosts Informational Meeting at Clyattville Elementary,

Representatives from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission were also on hand to answer questions, but tonight’s meeting didn’t ease everyone’s fears.

“The hope is they would pipe their gas using another route. I don’t need to be a doormat for somebody to make money shipping gas to Florida, so that they can cash the check on my back”, says Tom Lovett, an impacted landowner.

“I understand why the landowners are upset. I mean I really do. I see that they don’t have answers right now, but it just takes time”, says Susan Waller, VP of Stakeholder Outreach for Sabal Trail Transmissions.

Representatives from Sabal Trail say they hope to have a complete study by May, 2014 with answers to community concerns.

Answers like everybody in Pennsylvania is happy? How much time does it take, Spectra, to answer questions you’ve been asked about every pipeline you’ve promoted? Sending Andrea Grover’s boss, Susan Waller, turns out not to be an improvement if that’s the best she can do.

Why isn’t FERC making Spectra answer the questions?


Spectra Energy — Be the Best it Can Be –Mike Benard

Mike Benard sent this today to Spectra’s Andrea Grover, copied to a long list of news media and local, state, and federal elected and appointed officials and employees. For local background, see Spectra reps unfamiliar with Spectra fines @ LCC 2013-12-09. -jsq

Ms. Grover:

Those of us property owners who are already Spectra Energy “stakeholders” (the company’s term), want Spectra Energy to be the best it can be, consistent with its publicly stated commitment to Stakeholder Engagement, Integrity, Transparency, and Accountability.  

Reference link:  http://www.spectraenergy.com/Sustainability/Economic/Acting-with-Integrity/

To that end, and regarding your activities as a “Director of Stakeholder Outreach” on behalf of Spectra Energy’s proposed Sabal Trail pipeline, property owners in Georgia report that you are asserting the following at public meetings:

•  You assert that property owners at Spectra Energy’s Steckman Ridge compressor facility in Bedford County, PA are “happy” despite ongoing problems there and a consistent lack of response from Spectra Energy to its “stakeholders.”  

FACT:  I speak for more than a dozen families who live next to or near the problematic compressor facility; and your statement is incorrect and misleading.  What facts do you have to support such a disingenuous allegation?  A ring of health, water and operational complaints surround this facility that began operations in 2009.  Based on unofficial record keeping by neighbors, there have been nearly 60 shutdowns, blowdowns and related incidents at the Steckman Ridge compressor station and underground natural gas storage facility between August 2009 and the present.  And there is much more, as you know.

You assert that uncontrolled releases of methane and other hydrocarbons that happen too frequently at the Steckman Ridge compressor facility are “normal.”  Let’s hope not.  Your assertion is uninformed and misleading.  

FACT:  Recall the March 9-10 incident Continue reading Spectra Energy — Be the Best it Can Be –Mike Benard

Spectra sales and Lowndes County Commission tonight

The Lowndes County Commission promised to ask Spectra Energy questions citizens submitted. They failed. They meet again 5:30 PM tonight at their Regular Session:

327 North Ashley Street, 2nd Floor
Valdosta, GA 31601

If you want to speak in Citizens Wishing to Be Heard you need to turn in this form before the meeting starts. They usually have copies at the door of the Commission Chambers, but if there’s a big crowd they might run out, so you can print your own beforehand.

There will be protesters out front starting at 4:30 PM.

Here’s a roundup of local blog, TV, and newspaper coverage: Continue reading Spectra sales and Lowndes County Commission tonight

Sabal Trails rep. refused to identify supervisor –Sandra Jones to FERC

Filed with FERC 25 November 2013:

Sandra Jones, Moultrie, GA.

Sabal Trils representiative Johnny Mendrano refused to give me the name or contact information of his supervisor following a request in writing of assurance the pipeline would not come within approx. 70 feet of my home. Sabal Trails is not working with home and land owners to discuss issues. For this reason, I respectfully request denial from you until this issue can be resolved.

How to comment with FERC.

Moratorium on Open House Meetings until everyone is notified –Carol Singletary

Received yesterday on FERC. If New York can protest a Spectra pipeline maybe we should, too. -jsq

Sabal Trail’s low profile approach to these meetings will keep our community uninformed and unprepared to meet the challenges of the proposed pipeline.

I received a letter that provided instructions on how to go find the meeting times. I found it interesting that a two page letter could be sent requesting authorization for the survey; however, Sabal Trail has made the task incumbent on the property owners to locate the information about these meetings.

Our entire community is impacted and notice has only been provided Continue reading Moratorium on Open House Meetings until everyone is notified –Carol Singletary