Tag Archives: Jeb Bell

Video: Paddle races, water trails, and Sabal Trail jury trials; Suwannee Riverkeeper on WGOV Radio

Thanks to Steve Nichols for having me on The Morning Drive with Steve Nichols, 105.9FM WVGA. We talked about water trails, paddle races, and the Sabal Trail pipeline federal eminent domain jury trials, which were being settled as we spoke. Also we hear the Naylor Boat Ramp will be finished soon by Lowndes County.

On air, Movie

As I asked Steve about the three jury trials:

This is about federal eminent domain for the Sabal Trail pipeline.

SN: That’s right.

Now they already built the pipeline. But for these landowners, they sued them for the eminent domain. They do not have a written agreement with the landowners. They have not paid them a cent. But they already built the pipeline. Does that sound right to you? Continue reading

All settled with Sabal Trail without jury 2018-09-13

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Valdosta, GA, September 13, 2018 — This morning two landowners from Moultrie, Colquitt County, Georgia, and the Bell brothers of a subject property in Mitchell County, Georgia, all settled with Sabal Trail Transmission about payment for easements for a 36-inch natural gas pipeline through their land.

Defendant Jeb Bell said afterwards,

I am extremely unhappy, but such is life.

We fought as good as we could for as long as we could.

The defendants’ attorney Jonathan P. Waters had no comment on the confidential settlement of these cases.

These cases were originally filed by Sabal Trail Transmission against Georgia landowners in March 2016, invoking federal eminent domain supplied to Sabal Trail by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on February 2, 2016. The pipeline has since been built through the defendants’ land with no agreement and no payment.

Defendants Attorney Jonathan P. Waters, Attorneys
Defendants’ Attorney Jonathan P. Waters

Judge Clay D. Land, Chief U.S. District Judge, Middle District of Georgia, told the jury afterwards Continue reading

Sabal Trail Jury Trials Continue 2018-09-11

Update 2018-09-13: The outcome.

Attorney Jonathan P. Waters had some new questions this time for the same old Sabal Trail witnesses from last time. The trial continues this morning; see you there.

Gil Norman, Sabal Trail Right of Way Manager, who at $200,000 a year has made more than $1 million off of helping Sabal Trail get easements to “use as we see fit in our absolute discretion.“; Michael Fletcher, Engineering Specialist, who said Sabal Trail put thicker pipe on land that might be developed (so thinner on farmland) and pipe probably would have less top cover under dips between hills; and property appraiser Carl Schultz, who “summarized the summaries” of eleven papers, at least one paid for by a pipeline company.

And different defendants, pictured here going into the building yesterday morning.

Kenneth Gregory Isaacs, Atty Jonathan P. Waters, Daniel L. Dunn (GBA), Hamilton Isaacs, Defendants
Kenneth Gregory Isaacs, Atty Jonathan P. Waters, Daniel L. Dunn (GBA Associates), Hamilton Isaacs

Defendant Jeb Bell brought a 32-inch hoop to illustrate how big Sabal Trail is bigger than that at 36 inches).

Jeb Bell with 32 hoop (smaller than Sabal Trail), Defendants

When: Continuing 9AM Wednesday morning, September 12, 2018.

Where: Main Courtroom, Second Floor, U.S. District Court
401 N Patterson St., Valdosta, GA 31601

Sabal Trail Right of Way Manager Gil Norman attested that FERC could approve changing Continue reading

Four Three Sabal Trail Jury Trials in Valdosta, GA 2018-09-10

Update 2018-09-13: The outcome.

Update 2018-09-12: The second day.

Update 2018-09-10: Gretchen Quarterman and Janet Barrow attended the jury selection this morning, and will report in detail this afternoon. One difference from last time is this time jurors were asked if they knew Randy Dowdy, Wavel Robinson, or Sandra Jones. Perhaps not coincidentally, FERC required Sabal Trail to report on topsoil mixing for all three. Jones is also the remaining eminent domain case not being tried this week. The other three actual trials, yes, all with the same jury, start this afternoon at 1:30 PM.

Update 2018-09-05: According to a usually reliable source the Jones trial will be in January, so that’s three trials next week. Also, all three trials will be heard by the same jury. Given that each of the defendants has a different kind of property, that sounds to me like the circus come to town.

You can come see four more eminent domain jury trials start next week in Valdosta, after Sabal Trail lost the first one. Jury selection will start 9AM Monday morning, September 10, 2018. The actual trials could start that afternoon, and may run all week. You can’t take much into the courtroom, but there’s a public sidewalk out front, and there will probably be a TV reporter there part of the time.

Cases No. 4:16-cv-092 (Jones), -104 (Isaacs), -107 (GBA Ass.), -113 (Bell), Federal Building, Valdosta, GA

When: Jury selection 9AM Monday morning, September 10, 2018.
Trials could start that afternoon, and may run all week.

Where: Main Courtroom, Second Floor, U.S. District Court
401 N Patterson St., Valdosta, GA 31601

Event: facebook, meetup

The first case was for W. Lynn Lasseter of Moultrie, to whom the jury awarded five times what Sabal Trail offered. So apparently these trials will be for landowners all of whom, 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 asks FERC to authorize turning on gas 2017-05-17

Sabal Trail has discovered the southeast has drought! That’s its excuse for not greening up its gouge across what it calls its “greenfield” route. Sabal Trail “will continue to be available” to address landowner concerns, as if they have addressed destroying Randy Dowdy’s world-record soybean fields. They claim they’ve resolved 271 of 279 landowner issues: as near as I can tell mostly by suing the landowners, like they did the Bell Brothers.

Revegetation and drought

Pipeline company chutzpah! Solar power would do this faster, cheaper, and cleaner: “Granting Sabal Trail’s request by May 26 will allow Sabal Trail to commence service promptly to FPL and will significantly increase the available supply of natural gas to the Southeastern United States during the heart of the peak summer cooling season.” More likely Sabal Trail wants to be in-service by the end of May to avoid forfeiting that $200 million bond required by FPL’s RFP.

Sabal Trail’s list of karst features doesn’t match its own Continue reading