breaking news

Trump endorses Kemp for governor 

Court sets stage for shutdown of gas pipeline through Georgia


A federal court has moved to shut down the controversial Sabal Trail pipeline, which runs more than 500 miles through Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

The ruling – a triumph for environmentalists – left standing a previous court ruling that had criticized the government for not considering the downstream effects of the natural gas pipeline.

The decision came down from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Thursday. The court did not issue a statement or detailed opinion. But the decision not to revisit the August decision means – absent further legal action – that the Sabal Trail pipeline will lose permission to run and operations will be halted.

The Sabal pipeline is a joint venture of Spectra Energy Partners, NextEra Energy, Inc. and Duke Energy.

The case that had wended its way through the court system started life as a lawsuit by the Sierra Club, which argued that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission did not study the emissions from the burning of natural gas that had been carried by the Sabal pipeline.

The pipeline had been controversial even in the planning stages with protest for several years before the pipeline went into service on July 3.

It is possible that the commission or company may have recourse that might delay a shutdown. FERC had previously said it was willing to do more studies, but wanted the pipeline to continue operation while the research was done.

In response to questions from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Sabal spokeswoman Andrea Grover offered no details, but indicated that the legal proceedings were not quite at the end of the line.

“Given this is still pending litigation, we will not comment,” she said.

The 515-mile pipeline provides fuel for Florida Power and Light and Duke Energy of Florida.

According to Sabal Trail Transmission, which operates the pipeline, the project runs through 162 miles of Georgia.

At full capacity, the $3 billion project can carry 830,000 dekatherms per day. One dekatherm is equal to 1 million British thermal units.

Sabal was approved by FERC two years ago.

The energy companies involved argued that the pipeline was needed to carry natural gas to Florida.

But some property owners objected to the project using condemnation of land in to obtain rights of way. And environmentalists argued that the pipeline was not only unnecessary, but the company had chosen a route that was likely to pollute clean water.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Paulding airport says lease still calls for commercialization effort
Paulding airport says lease still calls for commercialization effort

Paulding County’s airport may try again to commercialize and attract airline flights, after its last effort was brought to an end by the Federal Aviation Administration. That’s because a long-term lease with an airport partner could obligate it to do so, according to the Paulding airport director. That company, Silver Comet Terminal Partners...
Super Bowl prep underway in Atlanta, 200 days in advance
Super Bowl prep underway in Atlanta, 200 days in advance

The Super Bowl is still 200 days away. But thousands of hotel rooms are already booked, tens of millions of dollars are already invested and hundreds of companies are vying for the right to supply things like carpeting, catering, ice, flowers, golf carts, paint, piping and portable potties. With Atlanta getting its third chance as the site of the game...
UPS tests smart devices to enter New York City apartment buildings for deliveries
UPS tests smart devices to enter New York City apartment buildings for deliveries

Sandy Springs-based UPS says it has launched a pilot program using Latch smart access devices for its drivers to enter apartment buildings in New York City to make deliveries. UPS said the devices make it more convenient for residents who aren’t at home to get deliveries, while it allows the company to complete more deliveries on a...
Delta targets college students for future pilot hiring
Delta targets college students for future pilot hiring

Delta Air Lines is targeting college students and its own workforce to find future pilots with a new recruitment program. Atlanta-based Delta said it expects to hire more than 8,000 pilots over the next decade, and is launching a pilot career path program to enable that. Delta will interview aviation students at Auburn University, Middle...
UPS holds job fair for new hub on westside of Atlanta
UPS holds job fair for new hub on westside of Atlanta

Hundreds of job seekers attended a UPS job fair Saturday seeking work as part-time package handlers at a new regional UPS hub to open on the westside of Atlanta. About 400 people pre-registered for the job fair at the Andrew & Walter Young Family YMCA, and more came as walk-ins. The job fair was scheduled to run through 3 p.m. Saturday. Phyllis...
More Stories