House blocks Sabal Trail gas pipeline

[private]The Georgia House overwhelmingly voted down legislation (SR 954) that would allow a natural gas pipeline, the Sabal Trail, to be constructed across southwest Georgia.

House members voted 128-34 against SR 954 but also voted to keep the bill alive by sending it back to the House Rules Committee.

Although Gov. Nathan Deal and the Georgia Chamber supported SR 954 as a boost to economic development, critics of the bill contended it would allow a private company to seize property by eminent domain for a pipeline that would mostly benefit two Florida utilities: Duke Energy and Florida Power & Light.

“This pipeline has no business going through Georgia,” said Rep. David Stover (R-Newnan). “Run it down the Alabama line – keep it in their state.”

“This does not serve our citizens,” said Rep. Regina Quick (R-Athens), “I will not be complicit in this scheme for the federal government or anyone else.”

Environmentalists also opposed the pipeline, citing the danger to Georgia’s aquifers if there should be a pipeline break.

SR 954 is a routine list of state property easements granted to various utility companies. After the resolution left the Senate and went to the House, the easements for the Sabal Trail pipeline were added.

This is the second time this session that lawmakers have voted down a pipeline. The House and Senate have also passed a bill to place a moratorium on the Palmetto Pipeline in the eastern part of the state.

© 2016 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: David Stover , natural gas pipeline , Regina Quick , Sabal Trail