Action letter to County Commissioners against Sabal Trail pipeline

Update 2014-09-12: Still more signatures.
Update 2014-09-08: Still more signatures.
Update 2014-09-07: More signatures.

Debra Johnson posted this on the Suwannee Alliance For Sustainable Growth facebook group 1 September 2014:

SABAL TRAIL PIPELINE ACTION NEEDED—If you desire add your signature to this multi-group email please enter it in the comment section.This email will be sent from SAFSG and other groups to BOCC officials here and in surrounding counties. It is available for use anywhere Sabal Trail pipeline is a threat—Simply change the county and/or state name in the body. We will start sending it out Tuesday Sept. 2nd. You should read it even if you do not sign as it contains important information.

The Suwannee County, FL Commission meets today, 2 September 2014. When does yours meet? Here is contact information for Florida counties. Here is contact information for Georgia and Alabama county commissions and city councils along the proposed pipeline path, as well as for state and federal elected officials. Remember also to comment with FERC on docket # PF14-1. Here’s the letter. -jsq

Dear Commissioner,

We are sure that you have heard of the Sabal Trail/Spectra Energy Pipeline and the resolution passed by Hamilton County BOCC August 22, 2014, to prohibit its path through the Withlacoochee River in Hamilton County (link below). It appears that that resolution has been successful. But the problem has not gone away in that Sabal Trail has already sent FERC and Rep. Ted Yoho a letter suggesting that they move the pipeline yet again! (link below).

We would also like to bring to your attention to other local government actions that have been implemented to protect the citizens of those counties. Our hope is that your county government will consider adopting one of these strategies in this crucial effort to protect their citizens, water, land, etc. from this gas pipeline which will provide zero benefit to the people of Florida or your County.

  • In October of 2011, Jefferson County passed an ordinance to prohibit Nestle or any other company from taking local water for bottling from their county. Thus protecting their water for the citizens and future generations (link below).
  • In July Rappahannock County, Va. went further than Hamilton County and passed a resolution directing Spectra Energy to go away. A month later Spectra Energy “suspended” that pipeline from Pennsylvania to North Carolina (link below).
  • August 5, 2014 Warren County, VA. BOCC implemented a resolution to prohibit the Spectra pipeline in their county due to the livelihood of its citizens and preservation of landmarks.

There are and will be more local government actions against this hazardous pipeline we are sure as people and local governments catch onto what this pipeline really means to their localities.

Hamilton County’s resolution asks Sabal Trail to re-route — again and they are attempting to do so (link below). Rappahannock County Virginia on the other hand recently passed a resolution that demands no pipeline whatsoever which has contributed to the suspension of the ST pipeline in the mid-Atlantic area (linked below). In October 2011 our own Jefferson County passed an ordinance preventing Nestle or any other company from locating a water bottling plant there (linked below). This ordinance, as you know, is the strongest solution to our problem, because while a resolution is merely a suggestion, an ordinance has the force of law.

FPL has stated that they “need” the Sabal Trail methane gas pipeline. A bit of research has determined that this is simply not true as they are IN the fracking business (see links below). FPL is owned by NextEra who bought into an “independent” fracking company named PetroQuest in 2010. NextEra and Spectra Energy are joint owners of Sabal Trail Transmission LLC which is proposing the pipeline. What we have here is a five-year plan to frack the country, pipe, and export the methane gas by FPL/NextEra. In the links below are all of Florida LNG export stations including the new application for a LNG export station in Starke, Florida. The Sabal Trail/Spectra Energy pipeline is part of a fossil fuel industry plan to export LNG to other countries through Florida (link below). This does not serve in the best interest of the citizens of Florida or the United States. No American citizen should be threatened with eminent domain land takings, no local community should have their water supply and lives threatened for the profit of a few companies somewhere else.

FPL/NextEra could easily take advantage of existing power companies as Duke Energy has done by purchasing an existing Polk County Energy Plant and scrapping plans for natural gas plant expansions (link below). FPL/NextEra could also take advantage of the drop in price of solar and bring our state into the 21st century with a cleaner energy source, after all we are the ‘Sunshine State’. Most importantly, according to Sabal Trail (Spectra and FPL’s) own figures, solar power could generate just as much energy on half the acreage of that pipeline, with no eminent domain, no hundred-foot gouge through wetlands, and no risk of leaks or explosions.

The dangers to our sinkhole dominant counties (as determined in the USGS study by the Dept. Of Interior — May 2014) in addition to the burden placed upon our inadequate emergency response systems if and when something happens should be of a major concern to all of Florida’s county government officials. Spectra Energy has a long Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) record of spills of toxins such as PCBS and dioxins, a Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) rap sheet of dozens of incidents of corrosion and leaks, and a three-decade National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) record of explosions with massive property damage and even death. According to Spectra’s own SEC Form 10-K filings, Spectra Energy do not carry adequate insurance to cover damages, loss of life, or loss of property. Consider the undo burden placed on local emergency services when/if something of this magnitude happens.

We have cautious optimism that with the continued resistance from the people nationally as well as local, state and now federal agencies that the entire project will be scrapped. Not to mention the national resistance that is sweeping our great country to fracking and to the pipelines that Spectra and others propose to transport fracked methane. The Sabal Trail/Spectra Energy fracked gas pipeline would increase the amount of fracking in the USA further damaging the water supply and air quality as it has in the 34 states that have been fracked. Also remember that Florida was illegally fracked by Dan A. Hughes Co. in Naples earlier this summer. The company was fined $25,000 by DEP and eventually ordered to stop all oil drilling activities they were performing in SW Florida and the Everglades after major protests by local government and citizens. Florida’s unique and delicate aquifer cannot handle fracking as so many other states that have found their water and air to be polluted as well as property values sharply decreased. Our already depressed economy cannot afford this pipeline. The DEP has also determined that Florida’s limestone aquifer caves will not support this pipeline (link below).

Fortunately FERC has directed Sabal Trail/Spectra Energy to address the problems raised by citizens and local government agencies, plus numerous discrepancies FERC itself has detected (see link below). Also the Spectra Energy pipeline in the mid-Atlantic area (through Virginia) was suspended in early August. Additionally Duke Energy has dropped the gas peaking station in Suwannee County (link below) and instead they are purchasing an existing power plant in Auburndale, Polk County, FL. Note that before this, Duke energy has previously stated that they did not need the Sabal Trail pipeline as there are already two natural gas pipelines in Florida that can be used — the Florida Gas Transmission (FGT) and the Gulfstream Natural Gas System (Gulfstream) pipelines. Spectra Energy owns 1/2 of the Gulfstream pipeline.

As FERC’s directions to Sabal Trail as well as Duke’s sudden plant changes indicate, opposition is having effects. This pipeline offers nothing for the citizens of your county but land takings and hazards. We ask you to consider using the Jefferson County ordinance, the Virginia County resolution, or the Hamilton County resolution as a model (or draft your own) to prevent this pipeline in your county. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by using your legislative power to stop this pipeline.

Please see the links to:

Local Government Resolutions and Ordinance to protect citizens, water, land, etc

Hamilton County –

Rappahannock County, Va.(note click view resolution in article) –

Jefferson County –

FERC gives 20 day notice to Sabal Trail/Spectra Energy

Sabal Trail Pipeline On The Move after Opposition To Withlacoochee River Crossing

Duke Energy announcement concerning change in plans for Suwannee and other locations

Spectra Energy pipeline suspended in Mid Atlantic

DEP – Sabal Trail Pipeline considered harmful to Fla Aquifer

FPL enters the fracking business

Application for LNG Export – Starke, Florida and links to all the existing Florida LNG export orders

Best Regards Always,
Debra Johnson
Lori McCraney
Quinn Leibfried
Dusti McCluskey
Donna Ellis
Jill McMullen Elmore
Suwannee Alliance For Sustainable Growth
Beth Gordon, Esq. – Levy County
Gertrude C Dickinson
Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson – President, Our Santa Fe River
Jim Tatum – Volunteer Our Santa Fe River
Chris Mericle
Deanna Mericle
Dale Goss
Jean H Wonser – Circle Pine Farm a FL conservation easement
Sue Pike Sawyer
Marvin V. Sawyer
Karen Ross
Payton Ross
Douglas J. Walsh
Jane Hatker
Jacki Clark
Lambert M. Ware
Lailja Leila Ware
Keri Shaver
SpectraBusters, Inc.,,
WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc.,,
Michael G. Noll, President, Wiregrass Activists for Clean Energy
Laura Dailey, TREPO board member
Whitney Markle
Linda Heyl – Treasurer, Our Santa Fe River
Catherine Hudson
David A. Hanna
Teresa Goss
D.F. Delegal
Thera Doocy
Damaris Stroymeyer
Troy Stroymeyer
Bob Delegal
Lyle Kempfort
Jacob Delegal
Karen Delegal
Victor Smith
Bobbie Box Brewer
Hugh Landen
Shirley Landen
Jill Elmore
Gary Elmore
Zachary Cunningham
Joseph Qualter III
Shay Lewis
Karen Chadwick, Putnam County Environmental Council
Larry Rodgers
Anita Stewart, Hillsborough County Soil and Water Board, Seat 5
Cathy Copley
Judy Martino, Newberry, FL
Center For Biological Divsersity
Robert Ventry
Shannon Ventry
Karen Mullins, TREPO member
Patricia Tayman
Jim Stevenson
Russell Johnson
Roylyn Johnson
Eileen Sims
Annette Long
Mark Long
Save our Suwannee, Inc.,

17 thoughts on “Action letter to County Commissioners against Sabal Trail pipeline

  1. Please add me to your list we just received our first letter from Sabal Trail less then two weeks ago telling us that they want to survey our land to put this pipe line down. We are so upset.

  2. I may be way to late but I still want to voice my opposition to this environmental disaster in waiting . I am going to share my thoughts with all who will listen . We have one earth and need to act responsibly.

    1. The only way to change the events taking place is by educating the many citizens and their representatives who remain unaware By sharing that there ARE alternatives to this pipeline that are being suppressed. The relatively simple fact of solar power, coupled with wind and stepping up conservation measures to limit need for new sources of energy can help prevent the inevitable disaster that awaits us with new unattended pipelines that will be subject to deterioration, sabotage and failure AS MANY HAVE. Unnecessarily.

  3. What a surprise- an oil man suggesting that environmental concerns, or lying to get something built is justified.

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