Sierra Club opposes new natural gas electric generating units: good news against Sabal Trail

The excuse for Spectra’s Sabal Trail pipeline is new natural gas electric generating units in Florida. FPL calls this “modernizing“, which is an odd word for using 20th century fossil fuels when 21st century solar power, conservation, and efficiency is ready right now for the Sunshine State. Adding to their opposition to LNG export, the Sierra Club Board of Directors has adopted this new policy:

“Natural Gas: The Sierra Club opposes new electric generating units powered by natural gas, including peaking and combined cycle units. Consistent with the Board’s goal of eliminating all fossil fuels from the electric sector no later than 2030, it is critical that the US avoid further high-capital investments in new natural gas plants and related infrastructure.”

This is in Sierra Club’s Energy Policies, Energy Resources Policy, Section E. Resources Opposed by Sierra Club, 8. New Electric Generating Units Powered by Natural Gas.

Adopted by the Sierra Club Board of Directors, September 16, 2006; amended February 21, 2009; May 16, 2009; July 25, 2011; November 21, 2014; October 22, 2015

Sabal Trail would connect south of Orlando to Florida Southeast Connection (FSC), which goes to FPL’s martin County “clean energy” center in Indiantown on the shores of Lake Okeechobee. What do we find right that? Four already-approved LNG export operations, including Floridian LNG.

FPL already built a pipeline from Martin County to another of its “clean power” plants in Riviera Beach. Which is also a port, which possibly could be used for LNG export.

And that’s not all. Florida East Coast Railway plans and Fortress Investment Group already has U.S. DoE Office of Fossil Fuels (FE) authorization to pick up LNG from FliNG in Martin County and ship it up and down the Florida coast to Miami and Jacksonville. Plus FE authorized the LNG to be exported to all free trade countries.

And then there’s Kinder Morgan’s application to FERC for a natural gas pipeline from Sabal Trail in Suwannee County to Jacksonville.

Jacksonville, where JAXport is gearing up for LNG export.

That Sierra Club policy already said, in the last sentence of 2. Natural Gas and Liquified Natural Gas (LNG):

The Sierra Club opposes the export of LNG.

Only a few years ago Sierra Club saw natural gas as a “bridge fuel”. Sierra Club has come into the 21st century. Now it’s time for FPL and the great state of Florida to do the same. As the Florida, Georgia, and Alabama chapters of the nation’s oldest, lagest, and most influential grassroots environmental orgnizaiton said 4 March 2014:

The Sunshine State, which will be the sole recipient of the fracked natural gas transported through this pipeline, should expand energy efficiency measures and solar power capacity rather than increase its dependence on natural gas which already accounts for more than 60% of Florida’s electricity generation.

No pipeline. Let the sun rise on Florida.


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