Palmetto Pipeline Concerns Being Addressed In Burke County

Palmetto Pipeline map graphic
Palmetto Pipeline map graphic

The vice president of Kinder Morgan is speaking Thursday evening in Burke County about the proposed Palmetto Pipeline and why his company should be allowed to start the project.

Georgia Governor Deal said Thursday morning that he opposes the pipeline from the state level, but Georgia isn’t the only state affected by this major project.

PDF: Read the FAQ on the Palmetto Pipeline

The 360 mile pipeline will travel through parts of South Carolina and Florida, as well, which has a lot of residents wondering how this will benefit them.

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“We have been in consultation with the head of DOT, Russell McMurry, and I think there is agreement that the state’s going to object to that pipeline,” Governor Deal told us Thursday morning.

“It sounds like maybe the Georgia government is paying attention to some of Kinder Morgan’s lies,” said Savannah Riverkeeper Tonya Bonitatibus, who also said Thursday night’s meeting is about whether or not there is a need for a petroleum pipeline. “The main issue for us will be that they have not shown that they have demonstrated need and public need, not Kinder Morgan need, but public need, and they should not be allowed to use eminent domain, which is specifically the permit that they’re asking for from DOT,” she added.

Bonitatibus also said Kinder Morgan has not, or will not, answer questions from private landowners, who are the people who, she says, will be most affected by this project.

Some have even called the major company “secretive”

“If there is a spill on somebody’s property, who is responsible? And, the answer we get back is, ‘it depends’,” Bonitatibus said. She also said says she’s concerned about the inconsistency in Kinder Morgan’s statements, especially regarding a recent oil spill that leaked more than 300,000 gallons of oil. “You’re sitting here telling us that you have the best clean-up, you have an incredible record, and at the very same time, at the top of our river you’re cleaning up a massive spill that you’re trying to hide.”

Other landowners say, if Kinder Morgan is given the go-ahead to build the pipeline, then why should they still be required to pay taxes on their land?

It is a question that many hope is answered soon.

The vice president of Kinder Morgan, Allen Fore, says this is just a small step in a very long process. He said pipelines are the safest way to transport energy, but he said accidents do happen, like oil spills, which is what so many people are concerned about.

Another One of the major questions residents want to know is how will this benefit them. Fore said lower gas prices and increased competition for petroleum, but then we asked him if he could guarantee those lower gas prices. His response was, “no, we can’t guarantee, but what we can guarantee is an additional supply of product and, as I said, when you bring additional commodities into an area it should have a positive impact on prices. Anybody who would try and guarantee anything doesn’t know what they’re talking about.”

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