Lowndes County Democratic Party renews resolution against Sabal Trail, for Solar after Florida resolutions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Valdosta, April 3, 2017 — a moral obligation to leave our children and grandchildren with an earth as safe, beautiful, and majestic as the one bequeathed to us by our parents and grandparents On March 27, 2017, the Lowndes County Democratic Committee (LCDC) approved a new resolution against Sabal Trail methane pipeline and for solar power, going beyond the old ones it passed in March 2014, this time calling for financial divestment from companies that support the pipeline, including calling on local and state elected officials to divest and not to accept any campaign finance funds from the same. The new LCDC resolution includes a quote agreeing that Sabal Trail is a threat to our drinking water in the Florida Aquifer, from a resolution of February 2017 by the Orange County, Florida Democratic Executive Committee (DEC); several other Florida county DECs have since also passed such resolutions.

The LCDC WHEREASes cite economics, damage Sabal Trail has already caused to our environment including Withlacoochee River, eminent domain for private company is not equal justice under the law, public safety and welfare, the lack of need for the pipeline now that Florida Power and Light has admitted Florida needs no new electricity until 2024, the economic victory of solar power, Floridians’ vote last year for solar power, and education, since Sabal Trail goes barely a mile from Clyattville Elementary School in Lowndes County.

This resolution will be discussed 6PM tonight at the Lowndes County Democratic Party (LCDP) at Mama Junes restaurant in Valdosta, along with new signs to Support Our Teachers.

The full text of the new LCDP resolution, entitled “A Resolution Against the Sabal Trail methane pipeline and For Solar Power”, is on the LCDP website in PDF. The resolution concludes:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Lowndes County Democratic Party (LCDP) that LCDP opposes the Sabal Trail pipeline and supports the rapid deployment of solar power; and

Therefore be it further resolved, that the membership of the Lowndes County Democratic Committee oppose the construction and completion of the Sabal Trail Pipeline, on behalf of the safety and welfare of all its residents.

Therefore be it further resolved, that in an effort to de-fund Sabal Trail and thus prevent financing of the project, that the membership of the Lowndes County Democratic Committee avoid doing business with companies and/or banks who in turn do business with Sabal Trail Transmission LLC or any of its parent companies, which include but are not limited to, Florida Power and Light, NextEra, Duke, and Spectra Energy, as wel as from banks that finance this project, including, but not limited to, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, TD Bank, ING Bank, SunTrust, and CitiBank.

Therefore be it further resolved, that on this day LCDP 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 Transmission 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 further resolved, that LCDP advocates expanding the Georgia moratorium on eminent domain for petroleum products pipelines to include a moratorium on natural gas pipelines, and to extend that moratorium to become a permanent ban; and

Therefore be it further resolved, that LCDP advocates removing eminent domain from the federal Natural Gas Act; and

Therefore be it further resolved, that a copy of this resolution be provided, officially, directly to all elected officials in Lowndes County, as well as their staff, and to the local delegation of state and federal elected officials, by the LCDP Secretary or Chair, within a time frame of no less than seven (7) days.

Therefore be it further resolved, that LCDP assist other Georgia counties and their Democratic Party Committees in also passing their own resolutions opposing the construction of the pipeline and supporting solar power, for the benefit and well-being of their own residents.

LCDC, which is essentially the board of directors for the Lowndes County Democratic Party (LCDP), also voted to approve a project for signs to “Thank Our Teachers”. The final teacher graphic will be distributed at 6PM tonight at the monthly LCDP meeting at Mama June’s restaurant in Valdosta, and LCDP members will be asked to get the signs out to the community.

LCDC also formalized subcommittees on Education, Environment, Public Relations, and Finance, in ongoing organizing to elect Democrats.

About the Lowndes County Democratic Party

The Lowndes County Democratic Party:

  • promotes development of Party organization and activities
  • seeks and encourages qualified candidates for public office
  • supports Democratic nominees
  • performs such election functions as are required by law
  • maintains appropriate records, promotes and adds logistical support to the State Affirmative Action program
  • raises funds for the above purposes

Contact

J.D. Rice, Chair
229-506-0842
Lowndes County Democratic Party
P.O. Box 4198
Valdosta, GA 31604
lowndesdem@gmail.com
http://lowndesdems.org
https://www.facebook.com/lowndesdems
https://twitter.com/LowndesDems

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You can become an LCDP member or renew today to help elect Democrats!


Below is the full text of the resolution, or see the PDF.

LCDP logo A Resolution
Against the Sabal Trail
methane pipeline and
For Solar Power

WHEREAS, the Lowndes County Democratic Party (LCDP) has on its platform: "Georgia Democrats believe we have a moral obligation to leave our children and grandchildren with an earth as safe, beautiful, and majestic as the one bequeathed to us by our parents and grandparents”; and

WHEREAS, the Sabal Trail Pipeline is being built to move natural gas from fracking sites to Florida and for Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) Export. Fracking is a known pol uting technique, leaving behind undrinkable water and unusable earth. LNG export is no benefit to anyone in Georgia or Florida; and

WHEREAS, Sabal Trail has already caused a frac-out of driling mud from its pilot hole under the Withlacoochee River and a sinkhole at its Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) site in Lowndes County; and

WHEREAS, WWALS Watershed Coalition caught Sabal Trail illegally burning prohibited materials in Brooks County, brought in from other sites that may include some in Lowndes County, all without a permit to burn anything at all; and

WHEREAS, the LCDP platform also says: “Georgia Democrats believe in and uphold every citizen’s right to equal and impartial justice under the law” and

WHEREAS, the taking of privately owned property by a private company is a property rights issue. Putting corporations above citizens is not equal, nor is it impartial. Lowndes County property owners have a right to say who can and cannot use their property and a pipeline that benefits no Georgians is a property rights violation; and

WHEREAS, the Georgia legislature has implemented a moratorium on petroleum products pipelines which could be extended to cover natural gas pipelines; and

WHEREAS, existing pipelines have a history of failures from poor monitoring and maintenance which have resulted in explosions, fires and deaths. The safety of Lowndes County citizens should be a top priority of our local and state governments; and

a high quality public education WHEREAS, the LCDP platform includes: “Georgia Democrats believe every child in every classroom in every school in every county in Georgia should have access to a high quality public education. and

WHEREAS, the Sabal Trail pipeline path goes barely a mile from Clyattville Elementary School, risking our children’s education; and

WHEREAS, on March 8, 2014, the Lowndes County Democratic Committee already voted to oppose the Sabal Trail pipeline; and

WHEREAS, on December 9, 2014, the Lowndes County Commission passed a resolution opposing the Sabal Trail pipeline; and

WHEREAS, on December 11, 2014, the Valdosta City Council passed a resolution opposing the Sabal Trail pipeline; and

WHEREAS, nine other counties and at least three other cities in Georgia and Florida also passed resolutions opposing the Sabal Trail pipeline; and

WHEREAS, on March 28, 2016, the Georgia House of Representatives voted 128 to 34 to deny easements Sabal Trail wanted to dril under Georgia rivers, demonstrating that opposing this pipeline is a bipartisan matter of water and property rights, even though Sabal Trail later sued in county superior courts and got the easements; and

WHEREAS, further demonstrating bipartisan opposition to this pipeline, many elected representatives wrote to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) opposing Sabal Trail, starting with on March 3, 2014, Valdosta City Council Tim Carroll. Members of the Georgia legislature: on November 14, 2014 and again on July 20, 2015 WInfred Dukes, Georgia House District 154, on November 18, 2014 Gerald Greene, Georgia House District 151, on January 5, 2015 Dexter Sharper, Georgia House District 177, on 23 October 2015 Freddie Powell Sims, Georgia Senate District 12. Members of Congress from Georgia: on May 29, 2015 Sanford Bishop, U.S. Congress GA-02, on October 23, 2015 Sanford Bishop GA-02, John Lewis GA-05, Hank Johnson GA-04, and David Scott GA-13, and again on May 27, 2016 Sanford Bishop GA-02.

WHEREAS, on February 20, 2017, the Orange County, Florida Democratic Executive Committee (DEC) voted to oppose the Sabal Trail pipeline; and

WHEREAS, since then at least three other Florida county DECs have voted to oppose the Sabal Trail pipeline; and

WHEREAS, LCDP agrees with Orange County DEC that “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”; and

WHEREAS, in 2013 Florida Power and Light convinced the Florida Public Service Commission and later the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that Sabal Trail was needed because FPL claimed Florida needed new electricity; and

WHEREAS, FPL’s 2016 Ten Year Plan says “Difference: FPL does not project a significant long-term additional resource need until the years 2024 and 2025”, thus contradicting any alleged need for this pipeline; and

WHEREAS, Florida is the Sunshine State and could generate any needed electricity from less expensive and more environmentally friendly renewable sources of solar and wind, as demonstrated by the extensive research of Stanford Professor Mark Z. Jacobson and his research team and visible in thesolutionsproject.org; and

WHEREAS, in November 2016 Floridians voted in favor of solar power by voting down a fake solar amendment; and

WHEREAS, more new U.S. electricity in 2016 came from solar power than any other source, according to the US Energy Information Administration ; and

WHEREAS, the solar power industry already employs more people than coal, oil, and natural gas combined, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s second annual U.S. Energy and Employment Report; and

WHEREAS, solar jobs are local, unlike pipeline jobs which mostly went to people from other states; and

WHEREAS, the LCDP platform says, “Georgia Democrats believe that the American Dream of opportunity for all should guide government policies at all levels” and

WHEREAS, in March 2014 LCDP already voted to support a solar power financing bill then in the Georgia legislature, and a version of that bill passed into law in 2015; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Lowndes County Democratic Party (LCDP) that LCDP opposes the Sabal Trail pipeline and supports the rapid deployment of solar power; and

Therefore be it further resolved, that the membership of the Lowndes County Democratic Committee oppose the construction and completion of the Sabal Trail Pipeline, on behalf of the safety and welfare of all its residents.

Therefore be it further resolved, that in an effort to de-fund Sabal Trail and thus prevent financing of the project, that the membership of the Lowndes County Democratic Committee avoid doing business with companies and/or banks who in turn do business with Sabal Trail Transmission LLC or any of its parent companies, which include but are not limited to, Florida Power and Light, NextEra, Duke, and Spectra Energy, as wel as from banks that finance this project, including, but not limited to, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, TD Bank, ING Bank, SunTrust, and CitiBank.

Therefore be it further resolved, that ... LCDP ask that all elected public officials shall take an official stance... Therefore be it further resolved, that on this day LCDP 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 Transmission 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 further resolved, that LCDP advocates expanding the Georgia moratorium on eminent domain for petroleum products pipelines to include a moratorium on natural gas pipelines, and to extend that moratorium to become a permanent ban; and

Therefore be it further resolved, that LCDP advocates removing eminent domain from the federal Natural Gas Act; and

Therefore be it further resolved, that a copy of this resolution be provided, officially, directly to all elected officials in Lowndes County, as well as their staff, and to the local delegation of state and federal elected officials, by the LCDP Secretary or Chair, within a time frame of no less than seven (7) days.

Therefore be it further resolved, that LCDP assist other Georgia counties and their Democratic Party Committees in also passing their own resolutions opposing the construction of the pipeline and supporting solar power, for the benefit and well-being of their own residents.

PASSED AND ADOPTED BY THE LOWNDES COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY, GEORGIA,

this _27_day of _March,_ 2017.

By: [signed]
_J.D. Rice, Chair, Lowndes County Democratic Party_

Attest: _______________________________

www.lowndesdems.org P.O. Box 4198, Valdosta, GA 31604 (4 of 4) lowndesdems@gmail.com