Palmetto Pipeline: Kinder Morgan can't take land

Palmetto Pipeline: Kinder Morgan can't take land
Palmetto Pipeline map.
Palmetto Pipeline map.

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - On Tuesday, The Georgia Department of Transportation announced it is not granting Kinder Morgan's request for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity.

That would have allowed the company to invoke "eminent domain" to seize private owned land in order to build the Palmetto Pipeline.

In it's official statement, GDOT said, "After careful consideration of information in the application submitted by Kinder Morgan on behalf of Palmetto; numerous public comments submitted at seven (7) public meetings held by Palmetto; two (2) public hearings hosted by the Georgia DOT; and approximately 3000 public comments submitted online and by mail to myself and the Utilities staff, the Department has determined that it will not issue a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity."

Pipeline company Kinder Morgan wants to build the $1 billion pipeline, that would transport gasoline, ethanol, and diesel from Belton, South Carolina to Jacksonville, Florida.

Kinder Morgan believes there is an economic need for an additional line across hundreds of miles in Georgia. Opponents say the impact of any potential leak to surrounding ground and water is not worth the risk.

"I just felt like it was a righteous cause, and I feel like whatever else they did, Kinder Morgan mishandled the whole thing and underestimated Georgia citizens," said K.C. Allan with Push Back the Pipeline. "Their business model is out-moded. Our needs for fossil fuels in Georgia are dramatically going down every year without any impact to prosperity, commerce, or population growth."

The decision can be appealed. Kinder Morgan officials said they plan to pursue options which could set up a legal fight in court to try and get the project to move forward.

Kinder Moran's President Ron McClain released the following statement:

“We are disappointed with the outcome of our proceedings with the Georgia DOT. 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. The fact the proposed pipeline is fully supported by long-term commitments from multiple customers seeking safer and more efficient supply options, and that it was so vehemently opposed by certain existing refined petroleum suppliers with vested economic interests in maintaining the status quo of artificially higher prices, is itself compelling evidence that the pipeline will serve needs that are not being met by current supply options. We continue to believe in the viability of the project and its economic benefits to the Southeast region and Georgia in particular, and we plan to pursue all available options to move forward with the project."

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