Tag Archives: DAPL

The illusion of pipeline invincibility is shattered –WWALS Brief to FERC in Sabal Trail Rehearing

Let’s cut to the chase in the letter we filed with FERC yesterday:

11. Historic new circumstances add up

The sun never set on the British Empire. Until it did.

No one circumstance ended that Empire, but it is easy to point at major events that accelerated its demise, such as the independence of India and the Suez Incident. Its fall started after the illusion of its invincibility was shattered by Gandhi’s campaign of civil disobedience and other events such as World War II.

The illusion of invincibility of the inland colonial empire of pipelines has been shattered by recent court orders about the ACP, DAPL, and others, and especially by the shut down of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the shuttering of the Constitution Pipeline and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. All of those pipelines were expected to be built, and DAPL actually was built before being ordered to shut down and empty. Now the world knows that pipelines are not inevitable.

All these pipeline projects, like Sabal Trail, were opposed by nonviolent protests and political and legal actions. All those methods of opposition, combined with the sea-change in progress to renewable energy, eventually added up to a new and significantly different world than that in which Sabal Trail was permitted or re-permitted.

The shut down of DAPL and the abandonment of ACP as well as the court rejection of tolling orders make it a new world even since FERC’s June 19, 2020, Order granting a rehearing on Sierra Club’s motion.

FERC should initiate a new [Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement] EIS that should take into account Sabal Trail’s own track record of leaks and sinkholes, as well as leaks and accidents from [Liquid Natural Gas] LNG export and LNG transport in rail cars, the speeding demise of fossil fuels as evidenced by record low LNG export prices and bankruptcies of frackers, the court rejections of DAPL, ACP, and tolling orders and how much of Sabal Trail could never have been built through environmental justice communities without tolling orders, the coronavirus pandemic, and the rapid rise of renewable solar, wind, and battery power as evidenced by FPL and Sabal Trail partners Duke and NextEra, as well as by FERC’s own numbers. All of those new and significant circumstances make pipelines such as Sabal Trail toxic stranded assets, dangerous to the bank accounts of their investors, as well as to the environment, justice, and human health.

Conclusion

For the reasons stated above, WWALS asks FERC to grant Sierra Club’s motion for stay of the Commission’s letter order of April 22, 2020, to halt Sabal Trail Phase II, and to commence a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) taking into account all of the above new and significant circumstances.

[Third-party inspection, recission, stay, SEIS]
Third-party inspection, recission, stay, SEIS

For those who are not familiar with tolling orders, they are basically how, after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gives federal eminent domain to a private pipeline company, FERC lets that pipeline company take land before any payment to the landowner or even any agreement is reached. Without tolling orders, it’s not clear the FERC will ever get another pipeline built.

Here’s a longer explanation. Continue reading

#StopETP National Day of Action one day early in Live Oak 2017-09-07

Let’s add #StopETP National Day of Action to our Not so Fast, Sabal Trail: Suwannee and Flint Riverkeepers in Live Oak 2017-09-07.

#NoDAPL #NoSabalTrail canoe
#NoDAPL #NoSabal canoe by Bill Sagues; picture by Julie Bowand on the Suwannee River 13 September 2017.

StopETP Coalition, National Day of Action,

Enough is enough. On September 8th and 9th we’re taking action across the country to #StopETP and defend indigenous rights and our water, land, air, and climate.

Sabal Trail is a partnership of Spectra Energy, NextEra, and Duke Energy. Remember who now owns the pipeline company part of that partnership, Spectra Energy: Continue reading

19 Questions from WWALS about Leak at Sabal Trail Dunnellon Compressor Station Site

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dunnellon, Florida, July 27, 2017 — Following up member reports of a very strong smell of natural gas on Florida 200 next to the site of Sabal Trail’s planned Dunnellon Compressor Station, which apparently was leaking, Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman and several WWALS members took pictures of the site and related locations from the ground and from the air. Today Suwannee Riverkeeper sent nineteen questions to the agencies that permitted the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline, all of whom assured us that pipeline would be safe, even though it appears it developed a leak less than a week after saying it had gone into service. These questions range from what did Sabal Trail report to the agencies to who asked for the smell to be put into the gas to what were the local counties and cities or the public told?

Tree berm

While this apparent leak was in Florida, Continue reading

VA529 responds to WWALS request to divest from Spectra Energy

It seems to miss one of the main points, but thanks to Mary G. Morris, CEO, VA529, for a thoughtful reply to the WWALS request to divest from Spectra Energy.

ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) It seems to me that investing in a highly risky pipeline company such as Spectra Energy would be “contrary to [VA529’s] overall investment goals and mission”, at least if those goals include reliable investments for college, and not stranded investments.

It might be worth looking into the Parnassus Core Equity Fund she mentions. Perhaps college savers who want reliable investments would want to consider moving their investments there.

Suwannee Riverkeeper may continue correspondence with VA529.

Meanwhile, VA529 has a handy VA529 contact form or you can call or write: Continue reading

College mutual fund VA529 owns Sabal Trail stranded assets

Update 2016-12-08: Letter sent to VA529 board: PDF.

Do the parents and grandparents who bought Virginia529 funds as safe investments for future college know VA529 is the biggest mutual fund investor in risky investments Spectra Energy of Sabal Trail and Enbridge of the Dakota Access Pipeline? Maybe you’d like to point that out to Mary G. Morris, the Chief Executive Officer of Virginia529 College Savings Plan, the biggest mutual fund investor in both Spectra Energy and in Enbridge, which is buying Spectra.

Sabal Trail through Suwannee River State Park

There’s a handy VA529 contact form or you can call or write: Continue reading

National coverage of Sabal Trail as Florida’s DAPL: #NoDAPL, #NoSabalTrail, #WaterIsLife

Some national coverage! Now that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has backed off letting the Dakota Access Pipeline drill under the Missouri River in North Dakota because of concerns of local water users, the Corps, FERC, and FDEP should do the same: stop Sabal Trail from drilling under the Suwannee River.

Larry Buhl, DeSmogBlog, 4 December 2016, Critics Call $3 Billion Sabal Trail Pipeline Florida’s Dakota Access Pipeline,

As opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline swells at home and abroad, another pipeline project at the other end of the U.S. is quietly being installed as fast as possible, critics say, displacing residents, threatening water supplies, and racking up alleged construction violations.

And most people in the region — even those in the pipeline’s path — haven’t even heard about it.

Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC, known as Sabal Trail, is using $3 billion of Florida Power and Light (FPL) ratepayer money to build a 515-mile pipeline to transport natural gas obtained via fracking from eastern Alabama to central Florida.

Activists Document Construction Violations

Continue reading

Waterkeeper Alliance asks Obama to halt DAPL

WWALS has been tying #NoDAPL to #NoSabalTrail for some time, because water protectors here continue to fight Sabal Trail for many of the same reasons as the Standing Rock Sioux fight the Dakota Access Pipeline, plus one of the DAPL pipeline companies, Enbridge, is buying Spectra Energy, the Sabal Trail pipeline company, and many of the same banks finance both.

Plus even FPL admits there’s no need for new electricity for Florida until 2024 at the earliest, which means there’s no need for Sabal Trail.

Waterkeeper Alliance, 3 November 2016, Waterkeeper Alliance Calls on President Obama to Halt the Dakota Access Pipeline and Uphold the Rights of Water Protectors, Continue reading

At the Withlacoochee River Brooks-Lowndes Co. GA line just downstream of Sabal Trail’s proposed crossing

With James Bell whose Mitchell Co. land is being bulldozed right now. He made a video statement which we will post later.

The Valdosta Daily Times sent a reporter to this event, Protect Withlacoochee River from Sabal Trail @ US 84 2016-09-17, #NoDAPL, #NoSabalTrail, #WaterIsLife. The reporter indicated a story would probably appear Monday or Tuesday.

Update 2016-09-26: The VDT story appeared Friday.

There is no excuse for Continue reading

#NoDAPL #NoSabalTrail @ Suwannee River State Park 2016-09-13

Update 2016-12-09: Here are directions to Suwannee River Campsites at 30.414, -83.159167. Facing the boat ramp, up to your right you’ll see a trail head. Follow the trail into the woods along the river bank. The river bends left, then right. Shortly after the right bend is the crossing, at 30.407379, -83.156494. Sabal Trail has marked its path in the woods; stay off of their easement but follow it until you come to a field where you should be able to see the HDD site. Send back lots of pictures. For maps and aerial pictures, see Sabal Trail maps digitized. Much more information here. And you may want to ask the CEO of college-savings mutual fund Virginia529 why her company is the biggest mutual fund stockholder in the stranded investment of Spectra Energy.

Yes, Sabal Trail wants to cross the Suwannee River IN Suwannee River State Park.


How many pipelines do we want? Continue reading

Protect Withlacoochee River from Sabal Trail @ US 84 2016-09-17

Update 2016-09-23: Sabal Trail protests continue, Valdosta Daily Times, 2016-09-23.

Update 2016-09-17: James Bell with WWALS at Withlacoochee US 84 bridge.

Update 2016-09-16: James Bell of the family being bulldozed right now by Sabal Trail will be at the US 84 Withlacoochee bridge with us 9AM Saturday morning.

Get in the picture on the bridge with boats at the proposed pipeline crossing in the background, on US 84 over the Withlacoochee River, half way between Quitman and Valdosta, GA. You, and the news media, too, are invited this Saturday 9AM! You may have seen Tuesday’s Suwannee River action on WCTV; you can come join us at the Withlacoochee River Saturday. No Dakota Access Pipeline #NoDAPL, No Sabal Trail #NoSabalTrail, #WaterIsLife.

#NoDAPL #NoSabalTrail Withlacoochee River @ US 84

Help demand the Army Corps re-evaluate its permit for Sabal Trail just like its permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Both pipelines should be canceled: keep it in the ground!

This WWALS Outing is part of the Continue reading