Photography by Norma Beaird
Article by Curtis Beaird
Palmetto Pipeline: Questions that Must be Answered.
Palmetto Products Pipe Line LLC (a Kinder Morgan company) filed for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity in January 2015.
1. Why were the first six public meetings managed by representatives of Palmetto Products Pipe Line with the public response going to their corporate lawyers?
2. Why, only after a public complaint, did the Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) sponsor its first public hearing?
3. Why does Palmetto Products Pipe Line, a for-profit corporation, think it has a right to Eminent Domain in Georgia?
Please note - understanding Eminent Domain is critical. The origin of Eminent Domain is from ideas developed by a Dutch jurist, Hugo Grotius, in 1625.
"... The property of subjects is under the eminent domain of the state, so that the state or he who acts for it may use and even alienate and destroy such property, not only in the case of extreme necessity, in which even private persons have a right over the property of others, but for ends of public utility, to which ends those who founded civil society must be supposed to have intended that private ends should give way. But it is to be added that when this is done the state is bound to make good the loss to those who lose their property."
4. Why would the state of Georgia align itself with a corporation and against its citizens by granting that corporation; in this case, Kinder Morgan, the severe powers of Eminent Domain?
When I spoke with the Governor’s office, why was the Palmetto Pipeline project described as:
“a collaboration between a private company and the Georgia DOT”.
Collaboration as defined at Wikipedia is the “process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals.” Shared goals?
5. Has the Georgia DOT already decided to grant Eminent Domain to Palmetto Products Pipe Line while using the public hearings as little more than window dressing?
6. Why has Palmetto Products Pipe Line failed repeatedly to demonstrate and document the need for the pipeline?
The burden to prove need rests with Palmetto. Think about it. No evidence has come to light to date that the citizens of Georgia approached Kinder Morgan concerning the construction of a pipeline. No evidence to date has come to light indicating that the landowners along the proposed route approached Kinder Morgan concerning the construction of a pipeline.
No evidence has come to light that the government of Georgia approached Kinder Morgan expressing a need for a pipeline. The pipeline is Kinder Morgan’s idea. Why do they refuse to demonstrate need?
7. Why does the Georgia government persist in ignoring the fact that Kinder Morgan has not demonstrated a need for the pipeline?
Palmetto Products Pipe Line uses general, abstract and undocumented statements to do little more than describe the project. But, when it comes to money, like rate structures and documentation, arguing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s jurisdiction related to denatured fuel ethanol or the rehab of the Belton, South Carolina site pipeline, the documentation runs on for over 100 pages.
8. Again, why no demonstration of need for the pipeline?
Kinder Morgan only supports its financial needs.
9. Why, even before the Georgia DOT makes its decision, has the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted approval of the Palmetto Petition for Declaratory Order?
Download FERC PDF File Order on Petition for Declaratory Order
According to the FERC personnel that I spoke with, states rights govern the approval of the actual “siting” (their word) of a pipeline. Yet, upon reading the FERC document, they have clearly given defacto agreement to its construction. (See paragraph 33 of the FERC approval)
Governor Deal is on record and states on his website that “…we will continue to promote stewardship to ensure that Georgia retains its pristine environment for future generations…”
10. Why has there been no environmental impact studies in relationship to the pipeline construction? Where is the “stewardship of Georgia’s pristine environment reflected in any of the DOT proceedings to date?
The Governor's office number is 404-656-1776.
Why not call and ask?
Websites, blogs and newspapers that DO NOT support the Palmetto Pipeline. The following links support the conservation and environmental concerns of the state of Georgia, to include the issue of Eminent Domain:
Push Back the Pipeline
Center for a Sustainable Coast
100 Miles Georgia
WWALS Watershed Coalition
Link to our article:
Why Georgia Doesn't Need the Palmetto Pipeline: Our Filing to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
Copyright 2015, Curtis and Norma Beaird. All rights reserved.