April 12, 2016
After reviewing multiple articles and hearing some discussion, I feel that there was reasonable concern for the Kinder Morgan Palmetto Pipeline project that was going to be taking place throughout much of eastern Georgia, including Effingham County, and which has been recently suspended.
The first concern is obviously for the environment and the potential negative consequences it could have on the climate. After reviewing an article published by High Country News pertaining to the dangers of natural gas leaks and how they can exacerbate damage to the climate, I could understand how there was alarm for how our local area of Savannah could potentially be affected by adverse effects this pipeline project could have on our environment. According to the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, 12.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas has been released since 2010 in nearly 700 “incidents” that were reported. Additionally, I read an article posted on Indian Country Today Media Network which reported protests in British Columbia against Kinder Morgan with activist calls for climate justice. Opponents of the Kinder Morgan Pipeline there expressed concern and outrage for the natural environment and the impact that this company’s projects could have on indigenous people, animals, fish, and water. It is reasonable to think that people would have similar concern and outrage here.
An additional issue for the local community was that there was a lack of transparency and disclosure by Kinder Morgan regarding the specific properties that would have been impacted. Maps were released but details were vague. According to Valdosta Today, the company wanted government permission to condemn land for its proposed Palmetto Pipeline but did not want to release aerial charts or other detailed information to the public about the properties that would have been impacted. I believe that the local community has the right of full transparency regarding how a company using natural gas and energy may affect the climate and environment around them.