On Sunday, Dec.4, one pipeline was stopped in North Dakota. On Monday, workers began putting another pipeline in the ground in east Alabama.
That’s where, with little apparent opposition, the 515-mile Sabal Trail Transmission Pipeline will transport natural gas from an existing pipeline in Tallapoosa County through southeast Georgia to supply energy for growing needs in central Florida.
Environmental groups are now assessing whether successful nonviolent protest strategies used at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation against the Dakota Access Pipeline might be transferrable to the South.
The Sabal Trail owners have swatted away one legal challenge after another from environmental groups. The court hurdle remaining will come in the spring, just weeks before the pipeline’s announced completion date of June 1. Read more.
Construction is underway on the new 515-mile Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline that will travel about 86 miles through four east-central Alabama counties. The line will also go through southwest Georgia and north Florida to provide natural gas to Florida Power & Light customers in south Florida.
The bulldozers and pipe are on the ground in Tallapoosa, Chambers, Lee, and Russell counties. They are a welcome sight to local officials who see new tax revenues and little concern from Alabama residents.
Environmentalists, however, are continuing a so-far failed effort to stop the pipeline. They say it poses a threat to drinking water sources, environmentally sensitive wetlands and sink-hole prone areas, and has roused public opposition in Georgia and Florida.
The Sabal Trail pipeline is the first major addition to Alabama’s thousands of miles of gas and oil pipelines since the leak of 330,000 gallons of gasoline from an interstate transmission line in Shelby County in early September. That incident brought headlines and new attention to a mostly underground system that stays largely out of sight and mind. Read more.