Tag Archives: corruption

From pipelines to renewable energy and efficiency –Sierra Club 2017-08-29

“Once the court officially returns the matter to FERC, the pipeline should cease operations while FERC undertakes the new analysis,” wrote Elly Benson, lead attorney for the case Sierra Club just won against Sabal Trail.

She summed up: ”Instead of sacrificing our communities and environment to build unnecessary pipelines that “set up surefire profits” for pipeline companies at the expense of captive ratepayers, the focus should be on transitioning to clean renewable energy and energy efficiency—especially in the Sunshine State. Forcing federal agencies to grapple with the true climate impacts of dirty fossil fuel projects is a big step in the right direction.”

She leads off this fourth in a WWALS news roundup series (1, 2, 3) about that case, followed by Gordon Rogers, Flint Riverkeeper, another party to the case.

WWALS is not a party to that case and does not speak for the parties, so I can be a cheerleader for them. Shut it down! Let the sun rise!

How many pipelines do we want? None! When do we want it? Never!
How many pipelines do we want? None! When do we want them? Never! —WWALS at the Sabal Trail Suwannee River crossing, 15 August 2015.

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

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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

No new Florida electricity needed, says FPL, so why Sabal Trail?

FPL admits Florida needs no new electricity, so why should Sabal Trail get eminent domain?

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Hahira, GA, September 6th 2016 — Two Georgia brothers are stuck with paying almost ten times as much in Sabal Trail’s legal fees as they spent defending their property against that invading fracked methane pipeline, even though FPL apparently admitted this year that all three of its 2013 excuses for that pipeline are no longer valid. Two federal agencies and numerous state agencies issued permits based on those excuses. Sabal Trail used those permits to get eminent domain, including to drill under rivers in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama and through the fragile limestone containing our drinking water in the Floridan Aquifer. It is time for this unnecessary, destructive, and hazardous boondoggle to be shut down and its $3 billion in FPL ratepayer money to be used for solar power in the Sunshine State.

James Bell, one of the brothers stuck with having to pay Sabal Trail attorney fees, says:

"First and foremost, this is a multi-billion dollar company that is for profit. In my personal opinion I don’t see how a private for-profit company should be allowed eminent domain. I don’t understand that. That makes no sense to me. I might could understand it if it was for the greater good of the country but this is not. And it is certainly not the federal government or the state government building some road or highway."

Florida Power & Light claimed 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

The state has turned its back on our own ability to regulate this industries. –Carlos Guillermo Smith on WFTV 2015-09-01

An Orlando TV station investigates the pipeline pushers WWALS: Is that the kind of company we want drilling under our rivers and through the fragile limestone? -jsq and finds both them and Sabal Trail wanting, digging up some new evidence of apparent back-room collusion.

Christopher Heath, WFTV, 1 September 2015, 9 Investigates new Florida natural gas pipeline,

Spectra of Houston, TX and Sabal Trail pipeline AL,GA,FL A third natural gas pipeline is in the works for Florida. But, even as the power companies pushing the plan tout the need for increased natural gas in the state, questions are being raised about the company actually building the pipeline.

PHMSA fines The web version goes into PHMSA fines and Continue reading

Sabal Trail Withlacoochee River Alternative and Jasper Open House 21 Oct 2014

Due to fine work by WWALS members Chris and Deanna Mericle in Hamilton County, Florida, 300x391 Withlacoochee River Crossing Route Alternative, Hamilton and Suwannee Counties, Florida (bare), in Sabal Trail Notice of EIS Intent, by John S. Quarterman, for SpectraBusters.org, 15 October 2014 Sabal Trail proposes to move its fracked methane pipeline off of the Withlacoochee River in Florida, and invites the public to an Open House in Jasper, FL Tuesday October 21st about that and other matters. We can ask them to move it off the Withlacoochee River in Georgia, too. And it’s still possible to file ecomments with FERC, and to contact your local, state, and national elected and appointed officials.

In FERC’s 15 October 2014 Sabal Trail Notice of EIS Intent and Route Alternatives, Continue reading

Water and property rights more important than methane pipeline profits

This is a long version of the op-ed sent to many newspapers in WWALS’ watersheds; there is also a short version. -jsq

Protesters drove as far as nine hours to Leesburg, GA July 10th, where Spectra Energy lost its eminent domain demand for its Sabal Trail 36-inch, hundred-foot right-of-way natural gas pipeline, and local landowners countersued. Spectra hobbled back to Houston, Texas bound by strict conditions for surveying that one Mitchell County property, and bound to haunt south Georgia again for a trespass jury trial.

The ensuing flurry of newspaper op-eds by Spectra’s Andrea Grover plus a page-long Sabal Trail interview in the Valdosta Daily Times (VDT), didn’t mention numerous Sabal Trail downsides. Continue reading

Water and property rights over methane pipeline profits

This is an op-ed submission sent to many newspapers in WWALS’ watersheds and beyond. There is also a longer version. -jsq

Protesters drove up to nine hours to Leesburg, GA July 10th, where Spectra Energy lost an eminent domain demand for its Sabal Trail 36-inch, hundred-foot right-of-way natural gas pipeline, and local landowners countersued. Spectra hobbled back to Houston, Texas, bound by strict conditions for surveying that one property, and bound to haunt south Georgia again for a trespass jury trial.

Spectra bragged in op-eds about 50 public meetings, never mentioning overwhelming public opposition in Moultrie, Valdosta, Clyattville, Madison and elsewhere to that gash through our fields, forests, and wetlands, and under our Withlacoochee River twice.

Sabal Trail’s air quality permit application with Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division met immediate Continue reading