Group opposes Elba pipeline project seizing property
In 2006, the Elba III project was announced. The project has three phases; expansion of a natural gas terminal on Elba Island; construction of a 42” pipeline known as the “Southern Segment,” running parallel to existing pipelines from Savannah through Chatham, Effingham, Screven, Jenkins, Burke and Jefferson Counties to Wrens, Georgia; and construction of a 36” pipeline known as the “Northern Segment,” from Wrens through Glascock, Warren, McDuffie, Wilkes, Elbert and Hart Counties to connect with the Transco Pipeline. In addition, at the end of the Northern Segment a separate pipeline is planned to parallel Transco, cross under the Savannah River, and connect to Transco in Anderson County, SC, allowing Elba to avoid using Transco to cross the river, saving an estimated $54 million in tariffs annually.
Unlike the Southern Segment’s existing pipeline easements, the Northern Segment is a Greenfield space, completely void of existing pipelines. Northern Segment landowners banded together as “Landowners for Environmental and Economic Protection” (LEEP). LEEP is represented by Decker, Hallman, Barber & Briggs in Atlanta. Our single focus has been to oppose condemnation and installation of the pipeline, the sole purpose of which is to increase profits by $54 million annually for private companies with no service or significant benefit to our Georgia counties.
We want to bring our southern neighbors impacted by Elba up-to-date on the legal status of Elba’s condemnation proceedings. In December, LEEP’s Motions to Dismiss the condemnations brought by Elba were denied. The Toombs Circuit Court also denied LEEP’s Motions for Reconsideration, BUT did issue a Certificate of Immediate Review, and Applications for Interlocutory Appeal were made to the Georgia Supreme Court. In January, the Supreme Court transferred the Applications to the Georgia Court of Appeals. In February, the Georgia Court of Appeals GRANTED LEEP’s Applications.
Following the granting by the Georgia Court of Appeals, Judge Roger Dunaway ordered a stay for all condemnation cases in the Toombs Circuit. Judge John H. Bailey has effectively stayed all Hart and Elbert cases by reserving ruling on LEEP’s motions until the Court of Appeals has ruled.
Currently, the review by the Georgia Court of Appeals and stays from the local circuit courts has stopped condemnations and construction of the Northern Segment.
In the meantime at the Federal level, oral arguments opposing the Northern Segment route will be presented to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on May 14, 2009. If our appeal is successful, the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to build the pipeline will be revoked.
IF the permit is revoked, we do not know what impact it will have on the Southern Segment, but interested landowners who are tired of their private land being taken for private corporate profit might want to look into the matter.
LEEP is not guaranteed success, but after three years of time and much effort, we at least have the satisfaction of having our objections heard at both the State and Federal levels.
Lincoln and Cindy Bounds, Wilkes County
Joe and Debbie Bennett, Wilkes County
Rick and Gina Thomas, Elbert County
D’Antignac sees no threat in border
This writer makes it sounds as if all hell is about to break out. Northern Mexico is what it alway has been and always will be, a place not only for illegals, but legal peace loving people to enter the United States. He must stop and ask himself, why all the gloom and doom? I’ve read most of the writings of this writer, and he has no faith in his fellow man. Is it because: (if it doesn’t look like me, act like me, talk like me, or behave like me, it must be destroyed)? If that’s it, someone is living a sad and miserable life.
I would like to educate him on four fine points he failed to mention: (1) There would be no MS-13 to distribute drugs, if we (Americans) didn’t need or have a (Fix) for them. (2) To say that they can move nuclear or biological weapons through this country as easy as that, is to say he has no faith in our system of defense, or our country. (3) The reason (The Mexican police and U.S. Border Patrol are outnumbered and outgunned) is because of (The NRA) and all the gun loving people who think they need an (assault rifle) to defend ones life, family, and property. (4) Where does O think those below the border are getting those big ole fine guns from? Lets see now. Could it be from (Al-Qaida), maybe from (Hezbollah)? No, no, no...they’re getting them from us here in the United States.
I’ll say this in his defense. Someone has to cry out and keep crying out to keep us on our toes, or to keep us from being complacence. There is a danger there, but put the blame where it belongs, (WE THE PEOPLE) the good ole (USA).
There could be a Georgia Jed Clampett
Water, my dear fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Louise Golden Ramsey told us, is the “universal solvent.” If that be so and it is, oil must be the universal lubricant long sought beneath Georgia sod; but it’s to no avail as yet.
The last I knew, a reward of a quarter-million dollars was authorized by the Georgia General Assembly awaited the person or persons responsible for bringing in the first honest-to-goodness quality-producing well.
This was almost four decades ago.
I would say the reward now must be at least a million-dollars.
Poor little peach state! Alabama has coal and oil, thanks to the Citronella Oil Field. The panhandle of Florida also has “black gold.”
A Louisiana drilling company sought oil in the Newington area near Savannah decades ago, and the Pennzoil Co. grabbed up mineral rights on state-owned land in Charlton County decades ago, hoping to find oil.
In Louisville, the late Gale Davis, who owned Texas oil wells, sold stock in a drilling company that came up with a deep, dry hole near Douglas.
Also, I recall someone doing likewise in the vicinity of the home of Louisville Ford dealer J.R. Phillips, Jr. North of town.
It all boils down to the fact that the reward money has yet to find its way into someone’s bank account.
But, who knows? Someday a Georgia Jed Clampett may walk into his yard and see oil gushing from his land.
Anyway, while I’m no bookmaker, this writer figures the odds of my doing that are about as good as my hitting the lottery for hundreds of millions of dollars if I did play it, which I certainly don’t.
Bob L. Gordy