Georgia Pipeline Suspended After Public Resistance

DSC_1555By Derrick Broze

Kinder Morgan Inc. has announced that they will suspend work on the $1 billion Palmetto Pipeline project slated to carry oil products through 201 miles of eastern and coastal Georgia.

On March 29, Kinder Morgan Inc. released a statement announcing the end of construction for the planned Palmetto Pipeline project. The pipeline was expected to carry 150,000 barrels of gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel and ethanol through Georgia. The project was heavily resisted by property owners who had their lands stolen through the government’s use of eminent domain, as well as environmental groups concerned about the possible effects on the land and animals. Eminent domain is a law that allows government agencies to force landowners to sell their property due to construction from state and corporate projects.

Kinder Morgan Inc. noted that they were stopping the project due to a recently passed temporary moratorium on the use of eminent domain. The bill was put on hold until June 30, 2017 to allow officials and “industry experts” to review the eminent domain issue and make recommendations.

“Notice: Kinder Morgan has suspended further work on the Palmetto Pipeline project following the unfavorable action by the Georgia legislature regarding eminent domain authority and permitting restrictions for petroleum pipelines,” the Houston-based Kinder Morgan Inc. wrote in a statement posted on their website March 30. “While this legislative action was disappointing, we remain committed to providing customized transportation solutions to our customers.”

Environmental organizations and property owners have been fighting the project since it was first announced. Blufton Today reports that the Kinder Morgan was denied a request for eminent domain in May after “heated public meetings”, eventually losing an appeal of the decision in early March. The moratorium bill brought together an unusual coalition of environmentalists and property owners’ groups, working together with Kinder Morgan’s corporate competitors to pass the bill.

Still, the property owners and environmental opponents of the project cautiously celebrated the decision. “We’ll be constantly looking for it. We need to go ahead and put the nail in the coffin and get legislation through to protect the land owners in our area,” John Berret, a landowner along the project’s proposed path, told WRDW.

Push Back the Pipeline, a “coalition of concerned citizens, landowners, and other groups across three states who oppose the Palmetto Project,” applauded the announcement, calling on Georgia Governor Deal “to follow through with signing HB 1036 into law, an important protection for the people of Georgia; and urge the South Carolina legislature to pass S.868.” Both bills are aimed at preventing eminent domain abuse by private petroleum companies like Kinder Morgan.

Tonya Bonitatibus, Savannah Riverkeeper and spokesperson for the Push Back the Pipeline coalition, said, “We’ve succeeded in stopping a bad project and need to continue to make sure that we close the discovered loopholes in both states’ laws to protect our citizens and their rights.”

Steve Caley, Legal Director for GreenLaw, called on Kinder Morgan to cancel the project completely. “And it is still critically important that Governor Deal sign legislation passed by the Georgia General Assembly this past session imposing a moratorium on approval of permits for petroleum pipelines while the legislature studies this issue further,” Caley said.

Kinder Morgan’s decision to cancel the project is a great example of what public resistance can do in the face of overwhelming circumstances. Even more powerful is the fact that organizations which are not typically seen as allies were able to come together and fight for a common goal. We should all learn from this campaign of resistance against Kinder Morgan Inc. By focusing on common ground and forging alliances against the enemies of freedom and prosperity, we can begin to create the free world we all dream about.

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Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for and the founder of the Follow him on Twitter.

Derrick is available for interviews.

This article may be freely reposted in part or in full with author attribution and source link.

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  2. I wonder what percentage of Kinder-Morgan, Inc. is owned by the George H. W. Bush family ? Few activities in the U.S. that are related with oil-subterfuge and theft of land properties take place without a Bush family finger “in the pie.” More info when searching the internet on the phrase, 4 generations of treason.

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