Sabal Trail is overbuilt Florida gas infrastructure

Even FPL admits Florida needs no new electricity until 2024, so what is Sabal Trail really for? Could it corporate profit and LNG export? Meanwhile, solar power prices keep going down as deployments rocket up.

Larry Buhl, DeSmogBlog, 9 December 2016, Sabal Trail Opponents Say Pipeline Is Part of Florida’s ‘Overbuilt’ Gas Infrastructure,

John Quarterman, president of [… WWALS] Watershed Coalition, recalled that Sabal Trail representatives, when pressed at public hearings, maintained that, as a pipeline company they had no idea where gas going through their pipes might end up, a claim that he and other activists find hard to believe.

Chris Pedersen, writing for the industry publication in October 2014, wrote that Transco and Sabal Trail pipelines could be used to explore new overseas markets for Utica and Marcellus Shale gas.

Sabal Trail opponents say gas flowing through the Sabal Trail pipeline could easily end up at export terminals on the Florida coast. For example, LNG distributor STROM has filed for a Free Trade Permit with the Department of Energy and is proposing two Florida port facilities — one existing and one new — that would eventually source from Sabal Trail.

A Sabal Trail spokesperson told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution just before construction began that the pipeline “will increase energy diversity, security, and reliability to these Southeast markets.”

But, as the Sierra Club pointed out in its opposition to Sabal Trail in 2014, Florida already gets 60% of its electricity from natural gas, and adding a third pipeline would actually decrease energy diversity.

Sabal Trail’s parent company did not respond to requests for comment for this story.

Oversupply of Natural Gas and Infrastructure

Even if, as Sabal Trail suggests, the fracked gas passing through the pipeline will ultimately be used in Florida, that goes against Floridians’ demonstrated desire for more affordable and available solar energy.

Last month, Florida voters rejected Amendment 1, a misleading, utility-funded measure that would ultimately limit the expansion of rooftop solar in the state. And in August, Floridians passed Amendment 4, which provides tax breaks for solar and renewable energy equipment on commercial buildings.

There’s more in the article, adding to this damning evidence that Sabal Trail is corporate profiteering at the expense of our water, land, and air.


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