Tag Archives: Eagle LNG

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

TECO joins Duke and FPL building solar in Florida 2018-10-29

Solar in Florida is not just for Duke and FPL anymore: Tampa Electric is building 260 megawatt hours of solar power, and the Florida PSC and Office of Public Counsel are praising it for reducing coal and natural gas burning. Even FPSC, which approved the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline boondoggle only five years ago, is starting to look up and see the sun in the Sunshine State.

Michael Moline, FloridaPolitics.com, 29 October 2018, Tampa Electric wins PSC clearance for solar power projects,

Tampa Electric solar projects

The Public Service Commission approved a deal Monday that allows Tampa Electric Co. to build five solar-generating plants and pass along the $46 million tab to its ratepayers.

Note that’s million with a letter m, not like the billions FPL is charging its customers for Sabal Trail. Continue reading

FERC rubberstamps Sabal Trail time extension before filing it 2018-08-03

FERC filed its rubberstamp approval before filing Sabal Trail’s request for more time to finish its Suwannee County connection to FGT’s Jacksonville Expansion Project, which leads to Eagle LNG in Jacksonville, which can export liquid natural gas through Crowley Maritime. There’s no rubberstamp like the FERC rubberstamp.

FERC approval before Sabal Trail request, Docket CP15-17

FERC did delete the last “unpredictable” clause in this Sabal Trail sentence:

This coordination must occur while taking into account existing scheduled gas flows on each party’s respective system during the high demand of the summer cooling season, which makes the certainty by when this can occur unpredictable.

Since high seasonal demand has been touted as an excuse for this pipeline boondoggle, maybe FERC didn’t want to think about summer cooling season, “which makes the certainty by when this can occur unpredictable.”

We already saw last winter Sabal Trail couldn’t keep the gas flowing when it was so cold snow fell on Florida. Now Sabal Trail can’t finish construction because of summer heat.

You know what works find in the summer and winter sun? solar farms such as the one FPL is building right now 25 miles due north or that Duke already built about 55 miles northwest, both in Suwannee County, both by partners in Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC. Neither of those needed a FERC rubberstamp, because they didn’t need eminent domain. Continue reading

Powelson leaves FERC with a split board as Sabal Trail loses legal cases 2018-07-02

Just one day before FERC admitted Sierra Club won in D.C. District Court, and a week after Sabal Trail Sabal Trail lost a jury trial in the U.S. Middle District of Georgia in Valdosta, something else at FERC put pause to further pipeline and LNG export rubberstamps.

Ellen M. Gilmer, Rod Kuckro and Sam Mintz, E&& News, 2 July 2018, Powelson’s departure means fallout for pipelines, policies,

Robert F. Powelson by FERC
Photo: FERC, of Robert F. Powelson, via E&E News

Robert Powelson’s decision to exit the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission less than a year into his term could leave natural gas pipeline developers in the lurch and policy critics scrambling for how to approach the commission’s coming 2-2 partisan split.

That’s the consensus among Continue reading

WWALS prepares to sue FERC for shirking LNG Export oversight

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, D.C., June 13, 2018 — WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS) prepares to sue the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for shirking its legally-required oversight of inland liquid natural gas (LNG) terminals. “LNG trucks barrel down I-75 right by my old high school in Lowndes County, Georgia,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman, after meeting with WWALS’ attorneys in Washington, D.C. “Those trucks from LNG terminals in Alabama and Georgia pass a technical college, a conference center, motels, homes, and businesses, going to I-10 for Jacksonville, Florida, where that LNG goes at least as far on ships as Puerto Rico.”

PDF flyer

Since the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in 2015 abdicated its jurisdictional duties under the Natural Gas Act to regulate the siting, construction, operation and maintenance of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) small-scale inland export facilities, instead these facilities operate with basically no Federal oversight.

“I am greatly concerned that an LNG commercial project of this magnitude is not only planned, but that apparently has slipped through the cracks of local and federal regulators,” said WWALS member Harriet Heywood of Citrus County, Florida.

At the ends of the Sabal Trail pipeline chain in Florida, trucks go out from half a dozen LNG export operations authorized by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy (FE). If any of those trucks wrecks, federal standard everyone should be evacuated half a mile downwind, including high schools and hospitals. Very few local emergency responders know this and fewer have appropriate emergency plans.

 LNG Railcar Explosion, SE Cove Rd and SE Dixie Hwy, in Vulnerability of LNG by Rail, <br/>by Martin County Fire Rescue, December 15, 2015.” /></a><br />
LNG Railcar Explosion, SE Cove Rd and SE Dixie Hwy, in <a href=Vulnerability of LNG by Rail, by Martin County Fire Rescue, December 15, 2015.

“The unintended consequences of FERC’s abdication of Congressional jurisdictional authority are mind-boggling,” said WWALS member Cecile Scofield of Palm City, Martin County, Florida, “They include Continue reading

Fundraiser to stop FERC shirking LNG oversight

Update 2018-11-14: Strom Inc. export through Tampa, Map And Strom wants to export through Port of Tampa, on tanker ships under the I-275 bridge right past St. Pete.

Update 2018-06-13: Press Release.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has abdicated its jurisdictional duties under the Natural Gas Act to regulate the siting, construction, operation and maintenance of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) small-scale inland export facilities.

Instead these facilities operate with basically no Federal oversight.

LNG trucks barrel down I-75 through Georgia past high schools, colleges, businesses, and homes, then on I-10 to Jacksonville for ships at least as far as Puerto Rico. At the ends of the Sabal Trail pipeline chain in Florida, trucks go out from half a dozen LNG export operations authorized by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy (FE). If any of those trucks wrecks, federal standard everyone should be evacuated half a mile downwind, including high schools and hospitals. Very few local emergency responders know this and fewer have appropriate emergency plans.

LNG export routes, Map
Map: by WWALS, from federal and state filings of LNG export operations.

Compounding the problem, Continue reading

LNG Export in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida

Update 2020-01-14: Better maps.

Update 2018-06-06: Fundraiser to stop FERC shirking its LNG oversight duties.

Did you know there are multiple liquid natural gas (LNG) facilities already shipping LNG down I-75 and I-10 to Jacksonville, Florida, another one in Hialeah, FL apparently exporting through Miami, with permission to export from four ports up and down Florida’s east coast, plus another permitted at Crystal River, and still more?

[WWALS LNG Export Map]
WWALS LNG Export Map
PDF

Only a few of the LNG operations shown were permitted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC); most notably Elba Island LNG, downstream from Savannah, Georgia. Most of them have been authorized by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy (FE).

Pivotal LNG, LNG and ports

Pivotal LNG is trucking LNG to JAXport right now.

Pivotal is Continue reading

No five-month extension for Sabal Trail, FERC 2018-01-26

Instead of giving Sabal Trail a five-month extension, FERC should revoke Sabal Trail’s Certificate of Convenience and Necessity, as the U.S. District Court already ordered. Sabal Trail no longer has the customers for 90+% of its gas on which that FERC’s February 2 Order depended, not since Sabal Trail dropped Duke Energy Florida (DEF) from its customer index on New Year’s Day.

Tillerson and Czaputowicz
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L) and Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz shake hands during a joint press conference after their meeting in Warsaw on January 27, 2018. / AFP / Wojtek RADWANSKI

It’s time to stop the fossil fuel industry using Sabal Trail as a political tool to undermine the overall energy stability and security of the U.S. southeast for the profit of a few companies from Texas and Canada. Just like the U.S. State Department recommends for Europe, FERC should seek to diversify energy supplies by getting on with solar power onshore and wind power offshore in the Sunshine State, Georgia, and everywhere else.

Suwannee FGT M&R Yard KMI JEP, Suwannee County
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS on Southwings flight June 21, 2016, of site of Sabal Trail Suwannee County M&R Station connecting to Florida Gas Transmission (FGT).

What’s that “one additional M&R facility,” Sabal Trail? Is it the one in Suwannee County to feed your fracked gas through Continue reading

Motion to reject FERC DSEIS, to take Sabal Trail out of service, and to revoke its permit: WWALS to FERC 2017-12-29

reopen the whole basis of the FERC 2016 Order, Filing FERC, if it follows its own rules, should reject the DSEIS, stop Sabal Trail, and revoke its permit, says a motion filed today with FERC by Suwannee Riverkeeper.

Followup blog posts will feature major sections and arguments from these 20 pages with their 93 footnotes. The basic arguments are summarized on the first page:

WWALS argues that no SEIS can be complete without accounting for GHG from Liquid Natural Gas (“LNG”) exports, nor without comparing natural gas to solar power, according to precedents already set by FPL, FERC, and others, which also reopen the whole basis of the FERC 2016 Order.

FERC may not care, but the D.C. Circuit Court may, or candidates for office, or the voting public.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!


Filed with FERC today as Continue reading

Nine Riverkeepers say FERC’s Sabal Trail SEIS unacceptable; request pipeline shutdown

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, Georgia, November 21, 2017 — Factually incorrect, failing to account for LNG export or solar power, and irresponsible for not finding or creating a method for attributing environmental effects to greenhouse gases, as the DC Circuit Court had instructed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to do: that’s what nine Riverkeepers called FERC’s Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) yesterday; see their letter to FERC. The nine include all the Riverkeepers in the path of Sabal Trail and all parts of the Southeast Market Pipelines Project (SMPP) plus others in all three states invaded by those pipelines, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, plus Oklahoma, where the SMPP instigator, Florida Power & Light (FPL), owns a fracking field, The nine, who support fishable, swimmable, drinkable water, pointed out that all of FPL’s original excuses for Sabal Trail have been proven incorrect, and asked FERC to shut it down.

Green is Sabal Trail; Transco and FSC in black, SMPP
Sabal Trail in green, Transco and FSC in black, in Sierra Club interactive map of gas pipelines.

The Riverkeepers weren’t buying FERC’s ignorance: Continue reading