Tag Archives: Sabal Trail Transmission

Condemnor bears the burden of proof –GA 2006 Constitutional Amendment

Sabal Trail can’t just assert public use for its pipeline: it has to prove it, according to the Georgia Constitution.

The Constitutional Amendment referred to by the landowners Attorney Jonathan P. Waters at yesterday’s eminent domain hearing in Leesburg, GA passed 7 November 2006 by 1,622,403 to 338,876, or 82.7% to 17.3%. Here’s then-Governor Sonny Perdue’s press release when he signed the law to put it on the ballot, which includes this sentence:

Public benefit from economic development shall not constitute a public use.

So it would appear vague claims of tax revenue or illusory jobs are not enough, Sabal Trail.

Here’s the “neutral summary and explanation” required by Georgia state law: Continue reading

Sabal Trail is claiming customers that do not want its gas, and city and county resolutions are relevant, it seems

Sabal Trail asked the judge to throw out my letter to the court yesterday, but the judge said the contents were public record anyway.

300x400 Letter, in Sabal Trail is claiming customers that do not want its gas, and city and county resolutions are relevant, it seems, by John S. Quarterman, 24 March 2015 Six minutes before yesterday’s eminent domain hearing in Leesburg, GA was scheduled to start I submitted the letter you see below, noting that Sabal Trail was claiming customers in counties and cities that had passed resolutions and otherwise said they didn’t want Spectra’s fracked methane pipeline. Naturally Sabal Trail’s attorneys didn’t like that, and asked the judge to disregard and strike from the record “the Quarterman letter” because they said I didn’t have standing, and you can’t just submit materials a few minutes before a hearing. The judge said he would entertain that motion, but he proceeded to leaf through the attachments, noting resoutions by Lowndes County, by Valdosta, a letter from Spencer Lee (Dougherty County attorney), a resolution by Terrell County, one by Albany, and one by Colquitt County. The judge remarked that all this was public record anyway, so striking the letter wouldn’t have much effect.

And it was pretty clear, at least to me (and remember I am not an attorney), that attorneys for both sides and the judge did Continue reading

Don’t let Sabal Trail get eminent domain judgment in Leesburg they could claim applies in Lowndes County

Sabal Trail is already sending “final request” eminent domain threatening letters to Lowndes County landowners saying it is “imperative” for that invading company from Houston, Texas to survey local land for its fracked methane 36-inch pipeline in a hundred-foot right of way. Tomorrow morning at 11:30 AM in Leesburg, Georgia, Sabal Trail demands a judge provide a summary judgment for eminent domain surveying against some Mitchell County landowners. If they get that judgment, they will very likely claim it applies to Lowndes County landowners. There’s still time to write a letter to the Clerk of Superior Court in Leesburg against such a judgment. And you can come to Leesburg yourself to protest.

An eminent domain survey “final request” Sabal Trail sent a Lowndes County landowner this month cited Continue reading

LNG export boom going bust?

U.S. too late to catch up with the competition, says one analyst. And solar is going to eat fracked methane’s lunch, say I.


US LNG exports according to the EIA

Colin Chilcoat, Oilprice.com, 16 December 2014, LNG Export Hopes Fading Fast For US,

The advent of liquefied natural gas (LNG) has revolutionized the way the commodity is transported and has brought increased parity to traditional pipeline relationships. In that regard, the United States’ natural gas boom was right on time. However, somewhat slow to react to market demand, the US may just be missing its window….

Approximately 80 percent of future capacity will be sourced from Australia, Canada, East Africa, Russia, and the United States. In the early goings, the field — namely Australia — has the jump on North America….

Russia, while also slow to react, cannot be counted out. President Vladimir Putin has sought to aggressively expand his country’s Asian market share following the conflict in Ukraine. While profitability is certainly is a concern, the government has demonstrated a willingness to push through prestige projects. The upcoming Power of Siberia pipeline will dampen LNG growth in China moving forward. The country is also working closely with India on nuclear and LNG cooperation.

Yep, Russia’s deal to sell Siberian gas to China undercuts the world’s largest market for U.S. LNG exports, as I mentioned 14 November 2014.

Back to the United States, a long regulatory process and a historical preference to keep hydrocarbons at home have delayed efforts to export LNG. Moreover, the relatively useless LNG import facilities, constructed pre-shale boom, serve as a reminder of how quickly fortunes can change.

Fortunes can change even quicker towards the fastest-growing industry in the world: solar power. When even the nation’s most corrupt state (Georgia) is half way through passing a solar financing bill (HB 57), the world is turning to the sun.

Add to that OPEC’s deliberate crashing of oil and gas prices, and:

So to recap: we’re looking at an already saturated market with little opportunity to make a buck. Sabine Pass and likely Cameron will have their chance, but the window is all but closed.

So the long lists of approved, proposed, and potential LNG export terminals may be largely pipe dreams (pun intended). And Sabine Pass and Cameron’s main market might end up being: Florida via Port Dolphin. Which if it causes the Sabal Trail pipeline to be cancelled would be some improvement.

Meanwhile, the more delay in all the fracking boondoggles, including pipelines and exports, the more people will realize solar power will produce more energy than any other U.S. source in less than a decade. Fossil fuel companies brag about potential 28% growth in shale gas over 28 years, while solar power already doubled twice in four years and is set to continue that compound interest growth rate for years to come due to economies of scale. And then innovations like improved storage will drive solar adoption even faster. Former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff said in 2013, “Solar is growing so fast it is going to overtake everything,” and the actual deployment numbers show he was right.

The smart money is not on doubling down on climate catastrophe through fracking. Fixing climate change is profitable, including investing in safer, faster, cleaner solar power now.

-jsq

Charges and findings for Quebec oil train explosion

Low-level employees taking the fall for railroad company executives, that’s what we can see in the future of yesterday’s West Virginia oil train explosion by looking at one in Quebec in 2013. Can we expect any different behavior from fracked methane pipeline executives?

Roger Annis, Truthout, 23 June 2014, What Happened in Last Summer’s Oil Train Disaster in Quebec That Killed 47,

Details of the events leading to last July’s oil train disaster in Lac Megantic, Quebec, have been made public for the first time. They reinforce an existing portrait of the accident as a perfect storm of corporate malfeasance.

Insufficient handbrakes applied, instead Continue reading

Another oil train crashes and burns: CSC CSX near Charleston WV

Yet another fireball, water supply turned off, state of emergency, from an oil train. When did you last hear of a solar farm explosion? Do we expect hastily-built and unnecessary fracked methane pipelines to be any safer than these shoddy exploding shale oil train tank cars? How long must fossil fuel fireballs rain down before we all get on with clean sun, wind, and water to power the world?

Fireball above Boomer, WV; Photo credit: Deslyne Copening

Marcus Constantino, Multimedia reporter and Matt Murphy, Charleston Daily Mail, 16 February 2015, Crude oil train derails in Fayette County, WV, Continue reading

Duke Energy expands solar stake from NC to SC

Duke Energy, purported big customer of FPL and Spectra’s Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline boondoggle, is expanding into solar financing for commercial projects, and from North Carolina into South Carolina. After even FPL’s parent bought a Hawaii utility to get into the solar game, why would anybody want to waste time, money, eminent domain land takings, trees cut down, or the hazards of sinkholes, leaks, and explosions near schools and businesses when we can all go straight to faster, cheaper, and far safer and cleaner solar power?

First this: Jennifer Runyon, Renewable Energy World, 9 February 2015, Duke Energy Takes Equity Stake in REC Solar, Embraces Distributed Generation: The move gives REC Solar a cash injection, $225 million in funds available to finance commercial projects, and a streamlined process to deliver solar projects more quickly.,

The largest utility in the U.S. is doubling down on distributed solar by taking an equity stake in commercial solar developer, REC Solar. The companies announced today that Duke will now own a majority stake of REC Solar and that together they will make it easier for commercial customers to go solar. In 2013, Duke Energy invested in Continue reading

VSU’s S.A.V.E. protests Sabal Trail pipeline and for fossil fuel divestment

Stop the Sabal Trail pipeline to help fossil fuel divestment. WALB got the connection at VSU Thursday 11 February 2015.

Colter Anstaett, WALB, 12 February 2015, Lowndes environmental groups march through VSU,

“We’re using so much at a rate that, within our generation or our lifetime, there’s gonna be catastrophic changes that won’t be reversed,” SAVE President Adrianna Taylor….

Taylor also said she believed that if the university ultimately did divest from fossil fuels, it would show that VSU students have the ability to critically think at the same level as students at Stanford, Harvard, and Continue reading

HB 59 to waive sovereign immunity in certain cases

Sue the state? You’ll lose, because of sovereign immunity, unless HB 59 passes. Then you might be able to sue GA-DNR for circumventing permiting in allowing construction on the Georgia Coast, or if it should approve a compressor station in Albany, or if it should issue any other permits for the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline.

State agencies such as the Department of Natural Resources (GA-DNR), can use “letters of permission” to do things like make alterations to Georgia’s coast, and anyone suing to stop it runs up against sovereign immunity unless the issuing agency has expressly waived it. Now that may change with HB 59, “State tort claims; waiver of sovereign immunity for declatory judgment or injunctive relief; provide”. It has six co-sponsors, including Jay Powell, District 171, Camilla, Mitchell County, GA.

Here’s the key part: Continue reading

MLK and pipeline opposition

The fossil fuel opposition is the child and grandchild of Mohandas K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. With their nonviolence, truth, and action as a model, we shall overcome.

Bill McKibben, The Guardian, 25 August 2011, Martin Luther King’s legacy and the power of nonviolent civil disobedience: In opposing the Keystone XL oil pipeline, demonstrators are getting a sense of the civil rights leader’s courage,

Preacher, speaker, writer under fire, but also tactician. He really understood the power of nonviolence, a power we’ve experienced in the last few days. When the police cracked down on us, the publicity it produced cemented two of the main purposes of our protest: First, it made Keystone XL “ the new, 1,700-mile-long pipeline we’re trying to block that will vastly increase the flow of “dirty” tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf of Mexico “ into a national issue. A few months ago, it was mainly people along the route of the prospective pipeline who were organising against it. (And with good reason: Continue reading