Pipeline Opposition Mounts –Shale Property Rights

Spectra’s scent precedes it.

On Shale Property Rights 22 January 2014, Pipeline Opposition Mounts, Sabal Trail Pipeline – Spectra Energy’s Proposed Gas Transmission Pipeline Draws Citizen Opposition in 3 States: Georgia, Florida, Alabama
Spectra Energy Builds on its Reputation for Cynical Social Responsibility

Spectra Energy (NYSE: SE), the $5 billion pipeline and underground natural gas storage company, is now in a position where its reputation precedes it. When it holds community meetings to sell a proposed natural gas transmission pipeline, communities show up with pitchforks, figuratively speaking.

Despite airy promises about “stakeholder engagement” and commitment to “transparency and accountability,” word about Spectra Energy’s lack of responsiveness and ongoing problems at existing facilities is spreading to communities across states where it hopes to build more pipelines and compressor facilities.1, 2

For example, the Sabal Trail pipeline is a proposed 474-mile natural gas transmission pipeline Spectra Energy hopes to build through Alabama, Georgia and Florida. Current plans call for 7 large compressor stations along the pipeline route (to ˜push’ the gas through).

This is a joint venture between Spectra Energy and NextEra Energy, Inc. The contractor is Florida Power & Light (the key recipient for the nat gas). For details, see the Sabal Trail Transmission website: http://www.sabaltrailtransmission.com/

It did not take “interstate” property owners long to mobilize. Here is a link to their energetic website: http://spectrabusters.org/ and one for their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/spectrabusters

Lessons from New York

Spectra Energy’s track record leaves a negative brand image across many states and in Canada.3

The article continues with lessons from New York, New Jersey, and some further comments about actions in Georgia and Florida. This, for instance, from Clare Donohue, a founding member of the Sane Energy Project in New York:

“These connected projects are being illegally segmented for separate review by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Community resistance is intense all along the path, from Florida to Georgia to New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.

“FERC should review the Spectra system as a whole….

“FERC and the Department of Energy also need to LISTEN to citizens, who are sending a message loud and clear that these projects are NOT a ‘public convenience.’ In fact they are viewed as being shoved down the throat of community after community, and are of benefit only to the corporation itself.” Website: http://saneenergyproject.org/

And this from Dale Hardman, Founder & President of NO Gas Pipeline in New Jersey:

“Spectra is totally untrustworthy!

“We found out from the beginning we must declare as a formal intervenor to sue FERC which regulates ALL interstate pipelines. They trump ALL City and State ordinances. You cannot get an injunction to stop a pipeline. ONLY by suing in federal court can a court overrule FERC.

“FERC was established by the National Gas Act and appointed by the President. We are awaiting D.C. District Court judge to hear oral arguments for our brief.” Website: http://nogaspipeline.org/

According to a recent ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, local governments can restrict pipelines, but it’s still a good idea to file as an intervenor and to sue.

And the Shale Property Rights post includes a PHMSA official saying he wouldn’t buy or build a home near a a pipeline. The whole article is well worth reading.


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