Tag Archives: Congress

Farm Bureau pipeline and solar power policies 2018

Pipelines and rivers run through and by farms, and many farmers have solar panels, so it’s interesting to see what Farm Bureau has for energy policies.

Farm Bureau is for fixing FERC by revising the laws that let the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reimburse Congress from fees and charges on the companies it supposedly regulates. Many of Farm Bureau’s pipeline policies are good and sound like it listened to Randy Dowdy. It gets hardcore about eminent domain. There are even a couple of items that, if law, would have been very useful in the recent and upcoming Sabal Trail eminent domain jury trials.

It has some very good solar energy policies, and it is for renewable energy, including incentives; even an electric car policy.

Not all is good. Farm Bureau is for “clean coal”, fracking, nuclear power, and oil and gas exploration everywhere. It never mentions wind power without mixing it with dirtier energy sources.

Title, Policy Book

This is all from FARM BUREAU® POLICIES FOR 2018: Resolutions on National Issues Adopted by the Voting Delegates of the Member State Farm Bureaus to the 99th Annual Meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation®, Nashville, TN, January 2018.

Some of the policies are weirdly categorized: Continue reading

Watershed Coalition to hold film festival –VDT 2018-05-29

Today in the newspaper of record for the biggest city in the Suwannee River Basin, Amanda M. Usher, Valdosta Daily Times, May 29, 2018, Watershed Coalition to hold film festival

VALDOSTA — The WWALS Watershed Coalition will host the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, 7 p.m. Thursday, May 31, at the Mathis City Auditorium.

The festival will feature 13 films from national filmmakers, one of which will focus on coral reef restoration and another on the Chattooga River.

Gretchen Quarterman, executive director, said one of the purposes of the festival is to observe the 50th anniversary of rivers reaching the designation status by Congress in 1968.

“We’re trying to raise awareness of the rivers in the Suwannee Basin, which is our area, so that people will appreciate them more,” Quarterman said….

Gretchen, Before

There will be Continue reading

Pipeline opposition rebuts wild-eyed Congressional distractions 2018-03-08

The headline would read better in this order: “Congressional Committee trolls energy policy.”

Suwannee Riverkeeper John Quarterman… said the science committee’s chairman, U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, was making “wild-eyed attempts to divert from the misdeeds of his patron, the fossil fuel industry.”

Steve Patterson, Jacksonville.com, 8 March 2018, Congress: Russians trolled Florida pipeline debate,

Efforts by Russian internet trolls to destabilize the U.S. energy industry reached all the way to Florida and the controversy over construction of the Sabal Trail gas pipeline, according to a Congressional report.

For my previous takedown of that report, see Fossil fuels are a far bigger threat than the Russians.

And if the Russians were behind me spotting from the air this frac-out of Sabal Trail drilling mud up into the Withlacoochee River in Georgia, they’re way behind in their payments.

Turbidity curtains and black pipe from the north bank
View from the south bank of Sabal Trail turbidity curtains and pipe from the north bank of the Withlacoochee River, about 2000 feet upstream from the US 84 bridge.
Photo: John S. Quarterman, October 22nd 2016.

Maybe I should send that Committee a bill Continue reading

U.S. Chamber wants FERC nominees approved 2017-05-31

The key phrase is actually exactly why FERC nominees should not be approved: 170531 FERCNominations-PowellChatterjee Murkowski Cantwell-0001

“…but of increasingly vital importance, also oversees the permitting and construction of natural gas pipelines, gas storage projects, and liquefied natural gas terminals.”

Funny how the Chamber didn’t mention fracking or LNG export. We don’t need more pipelines taking people’s property and risking our water and lives for the profit of a few fossil fuel executives cashing out before their industry goes belly-up.

WWALS recommends a swift vote to deny these FERC nominees and any others who do not vow to “to develop the new energy infrastructure necessary to ensure future domestic energy security” by rapidly deploying sun and wind power with no more new pipelines. Please call your Senators or members of that Committee to recommend they get on with real renewable energy, not 20th century fossil fuel stranded assets.

U.S. Chamber letter to U.S. Senate Energy Committee

Continue reading

Protection of the Suwannee River against Valdosta Sewage –City of Fanning Springs, FL 2017-04-11

Not just for all seven downstream Florida counties anymore: the City of Fanning Springs has also passed a resolution asking the Florida governor to help stop Valdosta wastewater spills. Maybe Valdosta will pay attention this time.

The Valdosta City Council and Mayor didn’t seem to understand when I used the Suwannee County resolution to draw attention to the part about:

“which again resulted in the Florida Department of Health issuing public health advisories warning the public of wastewater contamination in the Withlacoochee River and portions of the Historic Suwannee River, which resulted in warnings being posted at all public access areas along the rivers stating that the rivers were not safe for recreational use and every precaution should be taken to avoid any contact with the river;”

Maybe I should have tried this pithier part at the end: Continue reading

WWALS and 182 Organizations from 35 States Call for Congressional Review of FERC 2016-09-21

For Immediate Release

WWALS and 182 Organizations from 35 States Call for Congressional Review of FERC

PDF

Hundreds of Nonprofit Organizations Join to Demand Reform of Rogue Agency

Washington, DC, September 21, 2016 — More than 180 organizations representing communities across America called on leaders in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and House Energy and Commerce Committee to hold congressional hearings into the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) extensive history of bias and abuse. The groups are also requesting reform of the Natural Gas Act, which the groups say, gives too much power to FERC and too little to state and local officials.

“The time has now come for Congress to investigate how FERC is using its authority and to recognize that major changes are in fact necessary in order to protect people, including future generations, from the ramifications of FERC’s misuse of its power and implementation of the Natural Gas Act,” says Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network and a primary organizer of the effort.

Protesting the pipeline at the Suwannee River crossing...so nice to see lots of kids! “A prime example of FERC’s dereliction of duty to the public benefit is the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline Spectra Energy is drilling through Alabama, Georgia, and Florida and under our Withlacoochee River in Georgia and our Suwannee River in Florida,” says John S. Quarterman, president of WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS), the Waterkeeper® Affiliate for the upper Suwannee River. He added, “FERC failed in its due diligence by opaque selection of environmental contractors, by issuing its permit before permits from two states and the Army Corps, by ignoring copious new geological and other evidence, and by giving Sabal Trail construction go-ahead while a lawsuit is still pending by Flint Riverkeeper, Sierra Club, Gulf Restoration Network, and others, including construction through properties whose landowners have not even had eminent domain compensation hearings. Most egregiously, despite FPL, the source of the $3 billion for this boondoggle, admitting in its 2016 Ten Year Plan that Florida needs no new electricity until 2024 at the earliest, FERC refuses to even reconsider the alleged “need” for this unnecessary, destructive, and hazardous pipeline. Corporate profits for Spectra Energy from Houston, Texas and Enbridge from Calgary, Alberta are no justification for taking local land and risking our water, air, taxes, and safety.”

The letter to Continue reading

New hydrology report exposes Sabal Trail pipeline risk to Floridan Aquifer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jasper, Florida, July 1st 2016 — Another independent professional geologist reveals more omissions and discrepancies in pipeline company reports and faults in federal oversight of the Sabal Trail pipeline: Figure 7: Locations of the caves and springs mentioned in this study groundflow actually goes the other way, drilling under a river will change water flow in the Floridan Aquifer, and there is very high risk of sinkhole collapse. An indigenous Floridian commissioned this scientific report to protect his mother, the living earth. This geological report provides compelling additional reasons for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to open a new process to evaluate this and other new information.

Bobby C. Billie, one of the Clan Leaders and Spiritual Leader, Council of the Original Miccosukee Simanolee Nation Aboriginal Peoples, asked professional geologist and hydrologist Peter Schreuder, P.G. to conduct investigations at the proposed Sabal Trail crossing under the Suwannee River from Hamilton County and under U.S. 90 in close proximity to the Falmouth Cave System in Suwannee County.

This Schreuder report concludes about the Floridan Aquifer System (FAS): Continue reading

Hydrogeologic Issues of Concern, HDD under Suwannee River –Peter J. Schreuder 2016-06-23

See press release, New hydrology report exposes Sabal Trail pipeline risk to Floridan Aquifer, and this report is also available in PDF.

Hydrogeologic Issues of Concern

Schreuder, Inc. Water-Resources & Environmental Consultants

Directional Horizontal Drilling (HDD) under the
Suwannee River
At Suwannee River State Park

Hydrogeologic Issues of Concern

In any review of potential environmental consequences related to the use of Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD), both the geotechnical and scientific communities can be expected to raise serious concerns when such drilling is done around karst areas, and in regions which over lie the Floridan Aquifer System (FAS), which includes the Upper Floridan Aquifer, and the karstic geologic subsurface features at the location proposed in Continue reading

Ask your federal representative to ask GAO to investigate FERC and rubberstamps like Sabal Trail

You can send a message to your member of Congress asking them to support a petition from hundreds of organizations and even more individuals asking them to:

Help secure an independent investigation by the Government Accountability Office into the abuses of power, process and law by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) when it comes to interstate natural gas pipelines and LNG export facilities. Write your congressional representative now to urge their help in securing this necessary independent review.

Abuses like Continue reading

Reject Sabal Trail easement payment tonight –WWALS to Lowndes County Commission 2016-01-26

The Lowndes County Commission is voting tonight on an easement for the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline through a mercury-contaminated closed landfill. STA. 12818+00 TO STA. 12871+00, Clyatt Mill Creek, Railroad Ave. They only gave one day’s notice, and they didn’t mention the landfill. Here is the letter (PDF) I just sent them asking them to reject that easement, to support their own previous unanimous resolution against Sabal Trail, and to contact state and federal elected and appointed officials and ask them also to reject Sabal Trail. You can write them, too, to commissioner@lowndescounty.com.

To: Lowndes County Board of County Commissioners, Continue reading