Georgia DOT Denies Permit For Kinder Morgan’s Palmetto Pipeline Project

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Georgia DOT Denies Permit For Kinder Morgan's Palmetto Pipeline Project (Image 1)_8027

“I’m thrilled. I couldn’t be more pleased on behalf of everyone in Georgia,” explained a smiling KC Allan, Coordinator, Push Back the Pipeline Coalition.

After this decision, KC Allan of the Push Back the Pipeline hopes she can put away her props for good now.

“Whatever they did Kinder Morgan mishandled the whole thing and underestimated Georgia citizens,” said Allan.

Hundreds were heard at seven public meetings and two public hearings. 3000 more comments sent directly to DOT Commissioner Russell McMurry.

Property owners who were upset that eminent domain would be used to take some of their land away for a pipeline they didn’t want in the first place.

“Environmentalists have been tracking this before the rest of us and I don’t know if on their own they would have succeeded,” explained Allan. “It cut a wide swatch across interest groups, democrats, republicans, land owners, just about every person who had a sense of sense of fairness.”

Colonial Oil was in the middle of the debate, fighting the pipeline proposal.

They say it was about public necessity, and this plan was “not” necessary.

“Facts are facts and at the end of the day the facts demonstrate there is no need for you to do what you are proposing to do,” said Ryan Chandler of Colonial Oil. “That’s a pretty tough hurdle for you to overcome.”

While Allan knows hurdles still remain for her side too – this day she is celebrating.

“I think this is going to be the first of many defeats the pipeline companies are going to experience,” said Allan. “I feel like their business need is antiquated. Our needs for fossil fuels are going to go down without any impact on property, commerce or population growth. They are dinosaurs and ill be glad when they are extinct.”

“I think the process really worked this time. It was a success for everyone involved, except Kinder Morgan,” smiled Allan.

Kinder Morgan has not made any statements about the Commissioner’s decision yet.

They plan to talk to news 3 about what’s next Wednesday.

But experts believe the company is expected to sue the State of Georgia to try to get the pipeline flowing again.    ================================================================================    Georgia’s DOT Commissioner will “not” issue what’s been termed a permit for Kinder Morgan’s proposed Palmetto Pipeline.  Commissioner Russell McMurry issuing a statement today saying the “the Department has determined that it will not issue a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity.”

The DOT says the decision is based on numerous public comments from seven public meetings held by Kinder Morgan as well as two public hearings.

The 360 mile pipeline is proposed to run from Belton, South Carolina through Georgia and on to Jacksonville, Florida. 

The majority of the pipeline (210) miles would run through 12 counties in Georgia.  Landowners, particularly in Effingham County had vehemently opposed the project because of the idea that the company might be able to use eminent domain to gain easements for the pipeline.

The company applied for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity on February 13 and today was the last day for the DOT to decide whether to grant the certificate which many opposed to the project said was basically giving the company a state permit to do what it wanted. 

Kinder Morgan representatives told us recently the state certificate was “just a first step in what would be a long series of steps from the state and federal agencies” to gain approval for the pipeline.

McMurry’s “no” to Kinder Morgan was anticipated by environmental groups and others who opposed the project after Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said several weeks ago that he did not support the pipeline.

State officials have indicated however they expect the company from Houston to appeal the decision in the courts.

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