Groups opposed to natural gas pipelines call for review of federal agency

wwals

Protestors came out to Suwannee River State Park this

summer to oppose the Sabal Trail pipeline.

A group opposed to the Sabal Trail pipeline  is among more than 180 organizations  which on  Wednesday  called for Congressional reform of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The groups, representing communities in 35 states,  asked the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and House Energy and Commerce Committee to hold hearings into what they called FERC’s “extensive history of bias and abuse.”

They are also asking for reform of the Natural Gas Act, which the groups say, gives too much power to FERC and too little to state and local officials.

WWALS Watershed Coalition, the Waterkeeper affiliate for the upper Suwannee River, has opposed the Sabal Trail Pipeline, which  will originate in Alabama and connect with  the Florida Southeast Connection pipeline.  Next year, the pipeline is slated to begin supplying natural gas to Florida Power & Light’s plants in South Florida, including its Riviera Beach energy center.

“A prime example of FERC’s dereliction of duty to the public benefit is the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline Spectra Energy is drilling through Alabama, Georgia, Florida and under our Withlachoochee River in Georgia and our Suwannee River in Florida,” said John Quarterman, president of WWALS.

FERC gave its final approval to the southern piece of the pipeline in August.

“The number of frack gas pipelines is exploding and the feds are not only not  applying appropriate oversight, but are n fact also enabling the trampling of people’s property rights, public health standards and environmental protection,” said David Pringle, New Jersey Campaign Director, Clean Water Action.

FERC is funded through fees assessed to companies seeking permits and annual charges are assessed generally to the regulated industries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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