Florida has come alive against the Sabal Trail pipeline, and the Orange County Democratic Executive Committee (DEC) passed a resolution against it on Monday February 20, 2017, almost three years after the Lowndes County Democratic Committee passed a similar resolution. The Orange DEC resolution goes further, demanding divestment from Sabal Trail and all its parent companies by its members and by public bodies. Orange DEC is communicating with all the other county parties in Florida. Osceola County DEC has already passed a similar resolution, and it is on the agenda elsewhere.
See also Frank Torres, Orlando Political Observer, 20 February 2017, Orange County Democrats pass Resolution Opposing Sabal Trail Pipeline.
The measure passed in front of a full meeting that had to be moved to a larger venue in Downtown Orlando. Attendance at many Democratic meetings across the region has almost doubled since the election of President Donald Trump.
“It’s extremely important to Central Florida that we protect our resources.” said OCDEC Chairman Wes Hodge “The aquifer is where 60 percent of our drinking water comes from and with the Econ river and all of our other natural resources in Orange County, it’s something we have to make sure our citizens are aware of.”
Below is the text of the Orange DEC resolution and an image of it I took from DEC member Adam Woodhall’s copy Monday evening (I happened to be in Orlando that day). I filled him in about the LCDP resolution, and the many other resolutions against Sabal Trail by counties and cities in Georgia and Florida.
And right now in the Georgia statehouse is Georgia House Resolution 289: Recommend Congress remove eminent domain from Federal National Gas Act.
With this and other background, Orange DEC is moving rapidly to mobilize all of Florida.
RESOLUTION OPPOSING THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE SABAL TRAIL PIPELINE
Whereas the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), in Docket No. CP15-17-000, from November, 2014, grants Sabal Trail, LLC, the rights to build a natural gas pipeline through Alabama, Georgia, and twelve (12) counties in the state Florida, one of which being Orange.
Whereas were Sabal Trial, LLC, to be granted full approval of their inter-state pipeline, by FERC, it would give Sabal Trail, LLC, the power of eminent domain, a power only granted to the Federal government at this time, a power that would give Sabal Trail, LLC to ability to force landowners and/or homeowners to relinquish their lands, and the rights to those lands, or face being sued for their own rights, in Federal Court.
Whereas building a five hundred and sixteen mile, three-foot-wide pipeline, carrying up to 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas, would provide an extreme health hazard to residents of all counties, as well as all wildlife, as the proposed pipeline runs near schools, through residential areas, and the Florida Aquifer, an aquifer that makes up nearly sixty percent of Florida’s drinking water. In addition, there is a greatly increased risk of sinkholes, as a result of digging and displacement of the water-table, that could potentially cause injuries or even deaths to residents, and furthermore, cost tax payers unnecessary additional monies via repairs to already crumbling physical infrastructure.
Therefore be it resolved, that the membership of the Orange County Democratic Executive Committee oppose the construction and completion of the Sabal Trail Pipeline, on behalf of the safety and welfare of its all residents.
Therefore be it resolved that in an effort to de-fund Sabal Trail, LLC, and thus prevent financing of the project, that the membership of the Orange DEC avoid doing business with companies and/or banks who in turn do business with Sabal Trail, LLC, and it’s previously named affiliates. These banks being, but not limited to, Wells Fargo, TD Bank, ING Bank, SunTrust, Bank of America, and CitiBank.
Therefore be it resolved that on this day, the Orange County DEC ask that all elected public officials shall take an official stance, both vocally, in public, and in writing, via press release, opposing the Sabal Trail pipeline. They shall also pledge to not any take corporate donations, be they monetary or otherwise, of any amount, from Sabal Trail, LLC, or any of its parent companies, which include but are not limited to, Florida Power and Light, NextEra, Duke, and Spectra Energy.
Therefore be it resolved that a copy of this resolution be provided, officially, directly to all elected officials in Orange County, as well as their staff, by the Secretary, within a time frame of no less than seven (7) days.
Therefore be it resolved that the Orange DEC assist the other eleven counties in Florida, and their DECs, also affected by Sabal Trail LLC, in also passing their own resolutions opposing the construction of the pipeline, for the benefit and well-being of their own residents.