SC

“Palmetto Pipeline” Dealt Big Blow In Georgia

ENERGY PROJECT FACES UNCERTAIN FUTURE … || By FITSNEWS || The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) delivered a major setback to the “Palmetto Pipeline” this week – ruling that energy infrastructure provider Kinder Morgan could not use eminent domain in pursuing the project. Eminent domain is the controversial seizure of private…

ENERGY PROJECT FACES UNCERTAIN FUTURE …

|| By FITSNEWS || The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) delivered a major setback to the “Palmetto Pipeline” this week – ruling that energy infrastructure provider Kinder Morgan could not use eminent domain in pursuing the project.

Eminent domain is the controversial seizure of private land for what is determined (by government) to be a greater public good.

We’re obviously not fond of the mechanism, but we don’t oppose it categorically – believing there are some instances in which it is necessary.

Was it in this case?  We may never know …

The GDOT rejected Kinder Morgan’s application for a “Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity” related to the project – a proposed 360-mile underground gasoline and diesel fuel pipeline running from Jacksonville, Florida to Belton, S.C.

In addition to its Georgia route, the pipeline would run for approximately 100 miles in South Carolina through Aiken, Edgefield, McCormack, Abbeville and Anderson counties – terminating in Belton at a 900,000-barrel “tank farm.”  The Texas-based company also envisions Belton as the terminus for an expanded pipeline route from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Thirty new jobs would be created in the Palmetto State if the pipeline is built – although that’s looking increasingly like a long shot.

“We are disappointed with the outcome of our proceedings with the Georgia DOT,” Kinder Morgan president Ron McClain said in a statement responding to the ruling. “We believe that we have more than adequately demonstrated that this project is in the best interests of Georgia’s consumers, as it will result in lower costs and provide safer transportation of refined petroleum products to many areas in the Southeast, including specifically many communities in Georgia.”

According to McClain, the pipeline is being attacked “by certain existing refined petroleum suppliers with vested economic interests in maintaining the status quo of artificially higher prices,” which according to him is “compelling evidence that the pipeline will serve needs that are not being met by current supply options.”

It’s also being attacked by influential media mogul William S. “Billy” Morris III – who has been shamelessly using his network of newspapers to eviscerate the project.

Our position on the “Palmetto Pipeline” has been simple: As long as eminent domain isn’t being abused – and as long as taxpayers aren’t being compelled to provide “incentives” – we have no problem with it.

Of course it’s looking increasingly as though the “Palmetto Pipeline” is never going to make it to the Palmetto State.

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16 comments

G.O.B. May 20, 2015 at 8:33 am

Absolutely no doubt in my mind that Billy Morris called in every favor he had to kill this thing. Congressmen, U.S. attorneys, DOT commissioners, state politicians in Both GA and SC………………..
Probably cost him a couple Masters badges. If there is one thing Morris loves more than his money it’s his land. Kinder Morgan didn’t know who they were fucking with.

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MaryGAdkins May 21, 2015 at 9:34 am

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idcydm May 20, 2015 at 8:35 am

After all the hurricanes that have hit Florida there is only one reason it hasn’t blown away, Georgia sucks.

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Cafe de Teau May 20, 2015 at 9:10 am

The sooner this gets into Federal Court the better it is for Kinder Morgan. Gotta love all of these South Georgia rednecks complaining about “damn oil companies gouging us at the pump” and then are duped into opposing more supply of gasoline.

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nitrat May 20, 2015 at 9:12 am

“We’re obviously not fond of the mechanism (eminent domain), but we don’t oppose it categorically – believing there are some instances in which it is necessary. ”

So, let me guess…a good Libertarian is opposed to the use of eminent domain every time government wants to do it and in favor of eminent domain every time a business wants to seize private property?

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Zed May 20, 2015 at 9:38 am

/// So, let me guess…a good Libertarian is opposed to the use of eminent domain every time government wants to do it and in favor of eminent domain every time a business wants to seize private property? ///

That’s what I get out of his carefully-chosen (and often changing) words on the subject. Of course, the fact that any business using government to seize land for its own profit-making projects is engaging in crony capitalism — which has nothing to do with either the “free market” or representative democracy, and everything to do with our nation being increasingly controlled by corporate and governmental collusion.

Will and other dedicated libertarians seldom want to acknowledge that when they back the corporate machinations of oligarchic entities such as the Kochs, TransCanada, and Kinder-Morgan, they are playing the same game played by those they disdain so fervently in the mainstream, uh, “Republican” party, and the the Democrats as well.

And unfortunately, Will (like those who believe the Rapture is going to take them soon and it doesn’t matter how badly they fuck up the planet in the meantime) seems to discount any and all concerns about what the pipeline will actually do to sensitive bodies of water, water tables, wetlands, etc. Somehow, magically, letting these free-market dictators who are not free-market at all have their way will make everything work out just fine.

… said this one lone voice crying out in the fucking rapidly-disappearing wilderness.

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nitrat May 20, 2015 at 11:12 am

This blog reveals so much about the true Randian nature of Libertarianism, the deification of all things corporate, that it should be invaluable to the pot heads who delude themselves that ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’ for individual human being type citizens means diddly to its most ardent proponents…if those pot heads could stay un-stoned long enough to figure it out.

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Zed May 20, 2015 at 11:23 am

There are at least as many liberal, radical-left and independent potheads as libertarian ones, so I don’t see the relevance of that.

As far as Rand goes, maybe she had some good ideas, but much of what she wrote was silly and naive. She was traumatized at an early age by the horrors of Stalinist communism, and viewed every action by every government and economic system through the flawed filter created by her trauma.

The crazy old bat lived out her declining years on Social Security, so just how seriously should we take her, after all?

She did not endorse crony capitalism of the type employed by the Kochs and the others mentioned above, however. She expressly stated, many times, that this is counter to the notion of a free market.

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Koch Libertarians May 20, 2015 at 2:49 pm

Yep, small government when it comes to regulation, big government when it comes to corporate welfare, robbing people of land, and throwing competitors under the bus. Fuck you, get out of your house so I can bulldoze it for my pipeline. Fuck you, your tax dollars are going to pay for it too. Fuck you, if it spills I’m going to pay pennies on the dollar if that and leave a mess for someone else to clean up.

The Kochs have learned to use their own virulent strand of libertarianism to get a bunch of gullible people to be their own personal army of apologists. Government running public schools or giving welfare to people is bad, but government stealing property at gunpoint so someone else can make a profit is perfectly acceptable. This isn’t conservative, liberal, or libertarian. It is corporatist claptrap.

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Tom May 20, 2015 at 11:35 am

Actually it is free market, if you accept the premise that politicians should be allowed to sell their vote to the highest bidder. Corporations are people, my friend; and money is speech.

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Purpose of Eminent Domain May 20, 2015 at 3:05 pm

The line in the sand for eminent domain is what the land is used for. The big ones historically are for roads and railways. Roads are public use, railways may be private owned but the use still benefits the public. This pipeline is not the only way to move fuel, will not mainly benefit the public, and it poses significant risk to the public should it leak. It is absolutely not an acceptable use of eminent domain, not even close, and neither was Keystone XL. This is more about profits than public service.

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FastEddy23 May 20, 2015 at 10:27 am

There must be a bunch of back room back slapping going on here.

This is a net negative for SC, fur sure.

If SC poli-wogs are getting sticky fingers, then the taxpayers, voters, citizens of SC will be outta the loop when the natural gas pipelines come, too.

We absolutely agree with FITS on this … As long as taxpayers AND property owners are getting a fair deal …

(Disclosure: my Great, Great Grandaddy helped engineer and build the first practical oil pipelines in Pennsylvania. Back then they simply gave the landowners a tiny piece of the action for rights-of-way.)

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GinormousTau May 20, 2015 at 10:35 am

So we give up the port in Jasper so that Georgia can deepen the Savanah River to compete with charleston, and what do we get in return? a donation into nikki’s piggy bank

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Tom May 20, 2015 at 11:14 am

Will had to change his position on eminent domain when he realized big energy and Koch Brother affiliates were using it to force midwestern farmers to sell their land to the companies building the Keystone XL Pipeline. Screw the little people. Get in the way, and big energy and the Kochs will show you just how loud their money speech is.

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Native Ink May 20, 2015 at 3:34 pm

Libertarians are in favor of eminent domain now? Wow. It seems like you should be pushing for a “free market” solution instead. Let each landowner negotiate with the oil company and get as high a price as possible for the right to use their land. Let the oil company feel what’s it like to be hammered by the free market for once in their sorry life.

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