Protest at Valdosta Sabal Trail office 2014-10-21

Joe Adgie wrote for the VDT 22 October 2014, Residents protests Sabal Trail,

VALDOSTA — A group of around 40 Valdosta and Lowndes County residents went to the Sabal Trail’s Valdosta office on Tuesday afternoon in protest of the group’s proposed pipeline.

The group, many of which carried signs displaying their opposition to the pipeline, discussed the impact of a pipeline on the area.

Dr. Michael Noll, president of Wiregrass Activists for Clean Energy, discussed wanting to educate the community about the dangers of a natural gas pipeline.

“We also want to educate them also on the possibilities they have to comment with FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee, which deals with projects such as this,” Noll said. “We want to highlight aspects of connections that exist between the political and corporate machine.”

Dr. Noll referred to the FL Gov. Rick Scott scandal, in which Scott owned Spectra stock before FL PSC approved Spectra and FPL’s Sabal Trail pipeline.

“What you have is a situation where they are trying to sell you a product which is supposed to be for the public interest, but it’s really for profit interest,” Noll said. “The pipeline that leads from Central Alabama to Central Florida is being considered because there is a lucrative export market.”

I introduced the reporter to Bill Kendall, and took this picture of that interview and the one below of Nanci Kendall. Bill Kendall’s sign refers to Spectra donating $10,000 to the re-election campaigns of Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (and also to those of Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam). I think that was mentioned in the 11 October 2014 Ray Henry AP story that ran in the VDT the next day. The first picture above of Tom Hochschild and a walking pipeline is by the VDT. Adgie quoted Bill Kendall as saying he’s against eminent domain for private companies, and:

300x225 Bill Kendall, in Protest at Valdosta Sabal Trail office, by John S. Quarterman, 21 October 2014 Kendall explained that he owns 17 acres of land in three tracts, and that the land would be harmed severely by a pipeline. Kendall has owned the land since 1992.

“The Sabal Trail people want to avoid a little wet place that’s going to cost $1,500,000 to dig under, and go across my pasture land because it’s high and dry,” Kendall said. “That’s going to wipe out my farm, man. I’ve worked all my life for this dadgum farm, and I’m proud of that thing, and here they are, just going to come and wipe it out. What right do they have to do that?

“I couldn’t care less about their stinkin’ pipeline, and so could all of these other people,” Kendall said. “I’d rather have my land.”

Kendall works as a land surveyor, and explained that there were few farms that had that kind of land available for horses and other animals.

“Where are you going to find something like that to move to?” Kendall said. “I don’t want to live on this stupid pipeline, and I don’t want it going through my property, just for their convenience.”

300x225 Nanci Kendall, in Protest at Valdosta Sabal Trail office, by John S. Quarterman, 21 October 2014 Here’s Bill Kendall’s ecomment to FERC of 30 September 2014 in which he asked for FERC to vacate surveys taken through permission obtained through misleading letters, and make Sabal Trail resurvey only those properties whose landowners give permission after being informed important information such as that Sabal Trail cannot use Georgia eminent domain. Here are handy deny or rescind permission letters for landowners who don’t want to wait on FERC.

Adgie interviewed another directly-affected landowner:

“Where it’s coming across is within a couple of hundred feet of where I sit every morning and have my morning wake-up,” said Rick Hastings. “I asked the gentleman with the pipeline who was standing on my front porch if there happened to be a leak in the pipeline, and there was an explosion, what would happen? Without hesitation, and without any thought, he simply replied ‘You’ll never know it.’ In other words, me and my home, my grandchildren, and whoever’s there with me would be vaporized.

“They say it’s safe, they say there’s never explosions, and there’s never leaks, and that’s a crock of hooey.”

Here’s lots of Spectra safety violations that Sabal Trail never seems to mention.