Tag Archives: FSC

Spectra responds in pipeline certificate rulemaking 2018-08-24

As we’ve seen so often in the Sabal Trail docket, Spectra seems to be acting in place of FERC, responding yesterday to thousands of comments on FERC’s certificate rulemaking.

Spectra’s bottom line: a pipeline company’s bottom line matters more than the Fifth Amendment due process, or water, air, or safety. See page 25:

Contrary to some commenters’ arguments, the Commission’s public interest determinations are not rendered insufficient under the Fifth Amendment public use requirement because the Commission considers precedent agreements among applicants and affiliates to be evidence of public benefits.

Spectra repeatedly argues that FERC does not have authority to consider hardly anything other than whether the pipeline company has customers, yet FERC has authority to give eminent domain to private corporations and to let them gouge through our lands and under our rivers without local agreement or payment first.

Page 9: Tolling Orders, Pages

In this election year, you can ask every candidate for statehouse or Congress whether they support Continue reading

Benefits must outweigh harms –WWALS to FERC Re: Pipeline Certification NOI 2018-07-25

Here’s the WWALS response to FERC’s Notice of Inquiry (NOI) about “Certification of New Interstate Natural Gas Facilities”. A few excerpts:

FERC should approve no more pipelines without comparing not just coal plants to natural gas plants, but also comparing sun and wind power. If that means no more pipelines, so be it….

In one of the most egregious cases, Sabal Trail commenced construction on the land of the Bell Brothers in Mitchell County, Georgia, and when they countersued, Continue reading

FERC and Sabal Trail admit Sierra Club won 2018-07-03

One week after losing a jury trial in the U.S. Middle District Court of Georgia, the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline and its purveyor of federal eminent domain, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), declined to appeal their huge DC District Court loss of last August.

Sierra Club, Press Release, 3 July 2018, Fracked Gas Pipeline Company and Federal Regulator Will Not Seek Supreme Court Review of Landmark Ruling: Existing Decision Means FERC Must Consider Downstream Greenhouse Gas Emissions,

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Neither the builders of the fracked gas Sabal Trail Pipeline nor the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will ask the Supreme Court to review a landmark ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from last year. That decision required FERC to consider the effects of downstream greenhouse gases when deciding whether to approve proposed pipelines that transport gas.

In response, Sierra Club Staff Attorney Elly Benson released the following statement:

Elly Benson, Sierra Club Attorney
Elly Benson, Sierra Club Staff Attorney

“We are glad to see FERC accept its responsibility to consider greenhouse gas emissions from burning transported gas at downstream power plants. These dirty, dangerous, and unnecessary pipelines pose a threat to our communities and climate. They should not be proposed, much less built, at a time when clean, renewable energy sources are abundant and affordable. We will continue to monitor the pipeline permitting process to ensure the law is followed.”

The pipeline industry press was not thrilled. Charlie Passut, Natural Gas Intelligence, 5 July 2018, FERC Declines to Appeal Landmark GHG Case to Supreme Court, Continue reading

FERC inadvertently clears path for renewable energy via storage 2018-02-15

FERC just let slip the wolves of sun and wind by enabling the storage that those sunny twenty-first-century “aggregated distributed energy resources” (DER) will use to blow down the straw houses of traditional twentieth-century so-called baseload capacity coal, oil, and nuclear power plants.

FERC Commissioner Robert F. Powelson called out the “participation model” Thursday’s twin orders enable, bypassing many traditional charges by accounting for physical characteristics that do not change over time, recognizing that batteries, sun, and wind power are basically different from old-style dinosaur power plants. Commissioner Neil Chatterjee named Senators Ed Markey and Sheldon Whitehouse as proponents of these new rules, which is very interesting since both have long been proponents of renewable energy, and Sen. Whitehouse called out FERC for failing to implement the DC Circuit Court’s Order on greenhouse gases. Commissioner Cheryl A. LaFleur said “Electric storage is like a ‘Swiss army knife’”. Maybe more like the South Australian storage utility player that has already out-responded natural gas during coal plant outages. Commissioner Richard Glick says sun and wind power “no less than energy storage, have the potential to play a leading role in the electric grid of the future”. None of the Commissioners could bring themselves to say what they all know: sun, wind, water power with storage will be the electric grid of the future. Former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff and I were right in 2013: solar power will provide more U.S. electricity than any other source by 2023, on the way to complete conversion of everything to sun, wind, water, and storage by 2050.

Frequency response of Tesla South Australian battery
Giles Parkinson, Reneweconomy, 23 January 2018, Tesla big battery moves from show-boating to money-making.

Gavin Bade, UtilityDive, Feb. 15, 2018, FERC issues storage, reliability orders, calls conference on aggregated DERs, Continue reading

Sabal Trail troubled that the experts were right

“Without the certificate,
they cannot operate.”
—John S. Quarterman
of WWALS

Protesters turned out in St. Pete last year, and now a reporter from Tampa posts an update on double-sad news for Sabal Trail (I’ve added links).

Carmella Guiol, Kate Bradshaw, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, 15 Feb 2018, The experts were right: Troubles for the Sabal Trail pipeline: They warned us — correctly — about the pipeline’s dangers to the environment. ,

For years, environmentalists warned against constructing the Sabal Trail pipeline. Yet construction wore on, and the controversial natural gas conduit is functional — for now.

Photo: Terrence Smith. : TOLD YA SO: In St. Petersburg, protesters railed against the controversial project in 2017.
Photo: Terrence Smith. TOLD YA SO: In St. Petersburg, protesters railed against the controversial project in 2017.

The 515-mile pipeline snakes from Alabama to central Florida, and when it’s running, it brings natural gas (mined using the process of fracking) to power plants in the Sunshine State, where it generates energy that power companies sell to customers. The $3.5 billion project is a joint venture between Enbridge, NextEra Energy and Duke Energy Corporation, which make up the group Sabal Trail LLC.

The Sierra Club sued over that last one, but despite Continue reading

FERC rubberstamps FSEIS, FPL backstops, GA Rep Debbie Buckner and Sierra Club object 2018-02-05

In less than three hours since I submitted the WWALS motion to deny Sabal Trail’s sketchy request for emergency certificates, four more major filings appeared: FERC rubberstamped a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS), FPL cheered on the so-called emergency request, Georgia State Rep. Debbie Buckner objected, and Sierra Club objected. Sabal Trail said it best:

The Commission should decline the Applicants’ invitation to subvert the Court’s determination that the Project cannot operate pending compliance with NEPA.

Cover page, FSEIS

FERC rubberstamps Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS)

Continue reading

Emergency! Cries Sabal Trail 2018-02-02

Desperately seeking loopholes, at 4:58 PM today on a Friday, Sabal Trail claimed “Applicants would face irreparable financial harm,” which is pretty rich for the company that stuck the Bell Brothers with $47,000 in Sabal Trail legal fees for fighting eminent domain from that same FERC certificate the DC Circuit Court is likely to void next week.

Emergency,

It wants to “avoid the irreparable impacts of a system shutdown,” says the company that destroyed world-record-holding soybean farmer Randy Dowdy’s soybean fields. As Randy Dowdy said last May, and Sabal Trail’s own reports then say they have done nothing to correct:

“We’ve got loss of production for the future that will take not my lifetime, Continue reading

Sabal Trail to Gulfstream, Martin County, and where? 2018-01-18

Sabal Trail ramped up the last couple of days, to 196 thousand Dekatherms/day (MDTH/day) today. Most of that they’re shipping out to Gulfstream at Osceola. with a bit through FSC to FPL’s Martin County power plant, and the rest somewhere.

Why now? During the last cold spell, they spiked briefly in the first week of January, but dropped back to zero while there was snow on the ground in Florida.

So what are they up to now?

This month (2018-01-01 -- 2018-01-18), TIMELY

From the various pipeline’s FERC-required daily postings, Gulfstream shows Continue reading

Informational Postings: Transco, Sabal Trail, FSC, FGT, Gulfstream

Here are links to the FERC-required daily informational postings of the parts of the Southeast Markets Pipeline Project (SMPP), Transco, Sabal Trail, and FSC, plus the other two big natural gas pipelines into Florida: FGT and Gulfstream. Can somebody point me at any Duke Energy Florida (DEF) power plant that is not being fed by FGT or Gulfstream, now that DEF is no longer listed by Sabal Trail as a customer? And since FSC only lists its Martin County power plant, where are all those coal plants supposedly already- or to-be-modernized?

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has a web page for Required Filers, which has a spreadsheet of Interstate Pipelines under the Natural Gas Act XLS updated 11/28/2017, but it’s incorrect, with the listing for Florida Southeast Connection going to the home page for NextEra Energy Resources. So, as usual, it’s necessary to do FERC’s job.


Transcontinental Pipeline Company (Transco)

Informational Postings and map.

Transco, Maps

Operationally Available. Perhaps most interesting is Continue reading

Motion to reject FERC DSEIS, to take Sabal Trail out of service, and to revoke its permit: WWALS to FERC 2017-12-29

reopen the whole basis of the FERC 2016 Order, Filing FERC, if it follows its own rules, should reject the DSEIS, stop Sabal Trail, and revoke its permit, says a motion filed today with FERC by Suwannee Riverkeeper.

Followup blog posts will feature major sections and arguments from these 20 pages with their 93 footnotes. The basic arguments are summarized on the first page:

WWALS argues that no SEIS can be complete without accounting for GHG from Liquid Natural Gas (“LNG”) exports, nor without comparing natural gas to solar power, according to precedents already set by FPL, FERC, and others, which also reopen the whole basis of the FERC 2016 Order.

FERC may not care, but the D.C. Circuit Court may, or candidates for office, or the voting public.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!


Filed with FERC today as Continue reading