We all won twice against invading pipelines this week in the Georgia legislature.
A smashing 34-128
defeat of Spectra Energy’s invading Sabal “Sinkhole” Trail natural gas pipeline,
by WWALS, Flint Riverkeeper, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Georgia Sierra Club, Georgia Water Coalition, SpectraBusters, and many others,
wasn’t the only win for landowners, environmentalists, and the people
in the Georgia legislature this week.
Push Back the Pipeline‘s petroleum products moratorium passed the final legislative hurdle in the House and is on its way to Gov. Nathan Deal to sign.
You know, if Deal had stood up for the people against Sabal Trail, too,
its easements to drill under Georgia rivers including our Withlacoochee River
and Okapilco Creek, would have been defeated in the State Land Commission
of which he is chair before they ever got to the legislature.
But we all won, and won again!
Spectra, Kinder Morgan, and even ALEC lost this time.
A moratorium on eminent domain for petroleum pipelines until June 30, 2017
pending study of land use rights,
a change throughout of right to power of eminent domain,
and “natural resources, environment, and vital areas of the state” now mentioned first, in HB 1036,
passed yesterday, the last day for either half of the Georgia legislature
to adopt a bill before sending it to the other half.
A small change from the Georgia Senate could also affect natural gas pipelines.
From: Leigh Touchton
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2010 20:04:48 -0400
Subject: Mr. Lofton once again misrepresents the facts
Cc: email@example.com, [and the VDT and some elected officials and other interested parties]
1. Mr. Lofton stated: “Despite what Mrs. Touchton stated, we’ve been in
touch with the Massachusetts and Florida EPD, and in no way, shape, or form
is either state banning biomass facilities. In fact, there are 15 scheduled
now for New England, many in Mass, and a number in Florida. There have been
discussions regarding the level of incentives (tax credits) allowed, but no
moratorium. We’ll be happy to share our contacts with you.”
I would like for Mr. Lofton to share his contacts with WACE. Because
previously his contacts at the Sierra Club were misrepresented by him.
Sierra Club does NOT endorse Biomass Incineration, neither does any other
major environmental organization in America.
I would also like Mr. Lofton to share his private email list of stakeholders
with WACE, in particular the investors, because I would like to share some
information with them. I expect transparency in our public officials and
his refusal to address my letter to the editor of the Valdosta Daily Times
in the same newspaper in which it was published does not lead me to believe
that he is operating in good faith. I am very disturbed that any public
official would state that they did not want to “energize a forum for
misinformation” regarding published concerns in the local newspaper. Mr.
Lofton has a duty to respond to all citizens’ concerns publicly. I am very
disturbed that he thought he could privately email a group about my
published letter to the editor and that the first I learned of it was nearly
a month after he did so. And no, I still don’t wish to have a private
telephone conversation with him or a private meeting with him, I’ve been
reading all the public documents that have resulted from his supposed
lengthy due diligence period. As I stated, the first I learned of this
proposed biomass incinerator was when the EPD called for public comments.
Mr. Lofton and Councilman James Wright were both invited to the June Women
in the NAACP meeting and neither man showed up so I don’t really care to
engage in who didn’t return whose phone calls. Additionally he could have
made contact with the schools and churches in the area, or attended an SCLC
or NAACP meeting but he did not. All our our meetings are open to the
public, unlike his private list of stakeholders.
Here’s one internet article on the moratorium in Massachusetts.
Hahira just put a three week moratorium on development from its only stoplight west along U.S. 122 to Interstate 75:
The new development regulations were proposed in light of plans for the Gateway to Hahira project, which include a Harveys Supermarket. While the developer for the project has promised that its design will match the integrity of the small town, downtown atmosphere, there are no regulatory provisions in place to ensure this.
“During a previous work session, council members learned that there could be design overlay guidelines adopted along that corridor,” Sumner said. “Therefore, regulations are being developed and will go to the planning commission before they are presented to the council for consideration. This moratorium (or hold) just ensures that we have time to adopt the guidelines at the November meeting before anything is done along the gateway corridor.”
Or they could just trust the developers of a project bigger than downtown Hahira that it will preserve the Mayberry character of Hahira. The
Lowndes County Real Estate database shows that Hahira Gateway LLC owns much more land north of 122 than it does in the angle south of 122.