Tag Archives: methane

Fossil fuels are a far bigger threat than the Russians

Leaks of hazardous materials, explosions, land takings, sinkholes, frac-outs: these are far bigger threats than Texas Rep. Lamar Smith’s Committee report “that states Russian agents were attempting to disrupt U.S. energy markets and using social media to purportedly stir up protests against pipelines such as Sabal Trail,” as a reporter asked me about recently. Smith’s report doesn’t mention that solar and wind power are growing far faster than his favorite, fracked methane gas.

Energy source growth by sector
Business Council for Sustainable Energy by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, February 2018, 2018 Sustainable Energy in America.

Elsewhere I already looked behind Lamar Smith’s fossil fuel smoke and mirrors, and found I post more on social media than the tiny Russian numbers that horrify him.

His actual examples are seriously rolling-on-the-floor laughable, such as this: 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

Sabal Trail no gas for a week?

Has Sabal Trail been shut down for a week? Its FERC-required online reports seem to say so, while Gulfstream and FGT numbers jumped up that same day. Read to the end for something even more interesting.

2017-11-13, Operationally Available Capacity
2017-11-13, Operationally Available Capacity

While Cap stays about the same 789 million dekatherms per day (MDTH/day), Nom drops from around 186 on November 13th to zero or less on November 14th, and stays zero for a week; still zero this morning.

2017-11-14, Operationally Available Capacity
2017-11-14, Operationally Available Capacity

What’s Nom? Apparently Continue reading

Nine Riverkeepers say FERC’s Sabal Trail SEIS unacceptable; request pipeline shutdown


Hahira, Georgia, November 21, 2017 — Factually incorrect, failing to account for LNG export or solar power, and irresponsible for not finding or creating a method for attributing environmental effects to greenhouse gases, as the DC Circuit Court had instructed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to do: that’s what nine Riverkeepers called FERC’s Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) yesterday; see their letter to FERC. The nine include all the Riverkeepers in the path of Sabal Trail and all parts of the Southeast Market Pipelines Project (SMPP) plus others in all three states invaded by those pipelines, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, plus Oklahoma, where the SMPP instigator, Florida Power & Light (FPL), owns a fracking field, The nine, who support fishable, swimmable, drinkable water, pointed out that all of FPL’s original excuses for Sabal Trail have been proven incorrect, and asked FERC to shut it down.

Green is Sabal Trail; Transco and FSC in black, SMPP
Sabal Trail in green, Transco and FSC in black, in Sierra Club interactive map of gas pipelines.

The Riverkeepers weren’t buying FERC’s ignorance: Continue reading

Eight Riverkeepers oppose FERC’s inaccurate and inadequate Sabal Trail SEIS and request pipeline shutdown 2017-11-20

Filed today as FERC Accession number 20171120-5130, “Opposition to the incorrect and inadequate FERC Sabal Trail SEIS and request for pipeline shut down by Suwannee Riverkeeper (WWALS) and Apalachicola, Ogeechee, Grand, Choctawhatchee, Chattahoochee, Indian, and Flint Riverkeepers.” (Or see WWALS PDF.)

Shut it down, From: The undersigned Waterkeepers

Date: November 20, 2017

To: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street NE, Room 1A
Washington, DC 20426

Re: We oppose the incorrect and inadequate FERC Sabal Trail SEIS
FERC Docket Numbers CP14-554-002, CP15-16-003, and CP15-17-002

On September 27, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) published a draft Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS).[1] That SEIS was in response to the August 27, 2017 DC Circuit Court decision[2] regarding FERC’s previous approval of Certificates of Convenience and Necessity for the three parts of the Southeast Markets Pipeline Project (SMPP), which are the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC’s (Transco) Hillabee Expansion Project in Docket No. CP15-16-000; Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC’s (Sabal Trail) Sabal Trail Project in Docket No. CP15-17-000; and Florida Southeast Connection, LLC’s (FSC) Florida Southeast Connection Project in Docket No. CP14-554-000. The judges ordered:

“The orders under review are vacated and remanded to FERC for the preparation of an environmental impact statement that is consistent with this opinion.“

The draft SEIS issued by FERC is clearly not consistent with the court’s opinion for the following reasons:

  1. The SEIS is factually incorrect in stating that: Continue reading

FERC alleged SEIS for Sabal Trail and Sierra Club Petition

The agency most responsible for pushing new greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) is “not aware of” and “could not find a suitable method to attribute discrete environmental effects to GHG emissions.” That epitomizes the lack of seriousness of the five-page Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) FERC issued last month for Sabal Trail and the rest of the Southeast Market Pipelines (SMP) Project. If “the ability to determine localized or regional impacts from GHGs by use of these models is not possible at this time,” FERC should take Sabal Trail out of service and stop approving any more pipelines until such models are possible.

Maybe the agency pushing the most GHG should create such a model if it does not exist.

Maybe it could at last get the history straight about which coal plants FPL claimed Sabal Trail was needed to “modernize”.

Until then, this alleged SEIS is junk and Sabal Trail should be shut down.

You can sign Sierra Club’s petition against this fake SEIS, even though FERC can’t be bothered to hold public hearings. If you need reasons, read on below.

Susan Salisbury, Palm Beach Post, 1 April 2014, FPL’s Riviera Beach plant goes online Tuesday.
It’s already built, even though in 2013 FPL said Sabal Trail was needed to do that.
Now FERC’s SEIS names different plants as excuses.

Fracked methane emissions divided by Solar Power zero emissions

The SEIS explicitly mentions solar power: Continue reading

Video: Will you lead to sun and wind power? —John S. Quarterman to Tom Fanning, CEO, at Southern Company stockholder meeting 2017-05-24

Update 2017-07-28: See also VDT op-ed and letter to GA-PSC.

Five years ago I asked Southern Company (SO) CEO Tom Fanning what was his exit plan when the Big Bets on Kemper Coal in Mississippi and the two new Plant Vogtle nuclear units on the Savannah River go bad. This Wednesday SO stopped using coal at Kemper Coal after the MS PSC refused to authorize further cost overruns. Thursday GA PSC staff said Plant Vogtle is no longer economical. It is time for GA PSC to do for Plant Vogtle what MS PSC did for Kemper Coal.

We dont your coal ash in any landfill in the Suwannee River Basin --Suwannee Riverkeeper

As Suwannee Riverkeeper at this year’s meeting in May, I told Fanning we don’t want SO’s coal ash in any landfill on any river in the Suwannee River Basin; I asked him for solar panels at Moody Air Force Base to shut down a natural gas pipeline; and I questioned SO’s acquisition of Pivotal LNG with its deal to ship liquid natural gas in bomb trucks down I-75 and I-10 to Jacksonville, Florida.

I reminded our genial host of my question five years ago, with the handwriting already on the wall since the Atlanta Journal-Constitution had then just referred to Plant Vogtle as a financial quagmire. This time I asked Fanning to lead us all to sun and wind power.

In SO’s own video you can see them Continue reading

Sabal Trail with gas flowing needs even more watching

The fracked methane gas flowing has provided more evidence that there is no need for Sabal Trail. Now more than ever, you can watch that pipeline like a hawk, work on revoking its permits, and help stop FERC from rubberstamping any more boondoggles.

Jamie Wachter, Suwannee Democrat, 27 June 2017 (also Waterkeeper Alliance 28 June 2017, and Valdosta Daily Times page 8A 28 June 2017 but apparently not online), Gas now flowing through Sabal Trail pipeline,

Police blocking the public
Photo: Beth Gammie for WWALS, Suwannee County, Florida, 14 January 2017
Is this a good use of Florida local and state law enforcement?
Protecting an invading, unnecessary, pipeline from the unarmed public?

The pipeline’s first phase is supposed to provide service to Florida Power & Light to meet the start of its peak cooling season, Grover said.

Note Ms. Grover’s careful phrasing Continue reading

Sabal Trail violations FDEP assured us would not happen are happening

Already under the Withlacoochee River in Georgia there’s been a frac-out and a sinkhole at a drilling site, upstream from the Suwannee River in Florida, under which FDEP told us it couldn’t happen:

Lisa Prather, sole FDEP witness Well, the Suwannee River crossing doesn’t, in fact, have any impacts to an outstanding Florida water….”

“Well, any work within, or could have adverse effects on OFW, is considered. In this case, we determine that there would be no impacts to the OFW.

Apparently not only FDEP’s sole witness Lisa Prather believed Sabal Trail; according to a video yesterday by Cody Suggs at the Suwannee River, Sabal Trail’s own workers seem to believe their company’s propaganda.

Much more about WWALS v Sabal Trail & FDEP is on the WWALS website, including videos and transcripts of the landowners who also tried to warn FDEP that sinkholes happen like they already have including under at least two public roads in Suwannee County, Florida. And more about what already happened is on the WWALS website, plus things you can do to stop this $3 billion dollar fracked methane boondoggle.

For example, you may want to ask the permitting agencies some of the questions WWALS asked, including this one:

Which of FERC, FDEP, GA-EPD, USACE, SRWMD are working to protect the health, welfare and safety of the communities surrounding this pipeline and how are they doing that?

Given that I asked them for a prompt answer and two weeks later have gotten no answer at all, it sure looks like we the people will have to find and report violations and use other methods to stop this pipeline.

The transcript questions quoted below are Continue reading

Lime Run Spring

Lime Run Spring is a 1st magnitude spring located in Suwannee River State Park. The Spring is the end point of the Falmouth Cathedral Cave System, one of the longest known underwater cave systems in the world. The Sabal Trail pipeline is proposed to cross over the cave and under U. S. 90 and CSX railroad all at the same point. Collapse of the cave roof is a distinct possibility at this point. We cannot allow Sabal to jeopardize this natural wonder.

Chris Mericle

See also: Continue reading