from Wolf Street:
Eminent domain is a tough pill to swallow for Americans who take their property rights very seriously, and the aggressive moves by Sabal Trail to seize property for a natural gas pipeline running through three southern states is turning into a drama of immense proportions.
Sabal Trail, the joint venture planning to build a 500-mile natural gas pipeline through Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, has gone to court in order to secure the right of way through the land where the pipeline should pass.
So far, Sabal Trail has filed 160 eminent domain suits and more are expected, according to a report by the Orlando Sentinel. The company is desperately trying to get the right of way through 346 more properties, though it says it has already secured the agreement of 1,248 landowners in the area along the route.
But it’s doubtful that any of these will be allowed by the respective courts to reach the stage of contestation and litigation due to the stated regional importance of the pipeline project.
Florida satisfies almost two-thirds of its power needs with natural gas. Coal is a distant second at around 22 percent, making gas the major source of power for the state. The numbers are not as high for Georgia and Alabama, but natural gas is a significant component of the energy source mix there as well.
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