In the paper Suwannee Democrat, May 5th, 2016.
WWALS Watershed Coalition showed Suwannee County Commissioners sinkholes in the middle of the pipeline path that Sabal Trail didn’t mention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). All of them, except Jason Bashaw, studied a report by a local geologist and showed leadership by voting to tell that “truth that exists in the middle” to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The quotation above is a reference to “Sabal Trail Pipeline project — The truth exists somewhere in the middle, By Jason Bashaw, District 1 Suwannee County Commissioner, Chairman of the Board”, Suwannee Valley Times, 25 April 2016. The SVT declined to publish this response from WWALS, or any other response by anyone else. Thanks to the Suwannee Democrat for publishing! Thanks to Chris Mericle for the images of the printed piece.
Since Chairman Bashaw opens every BOCC meeting with a prayer, he should recognize who said humans are a disease on the planet in Genesis 6:13: ‘So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them.”‘
A company from Houston, Texas wants to fill our earth, water, and air with violence. Leadership is not being neutral after local farmers, businessmen, nurses, and firemen have testified in a legal hearing and to the Suwannee BOCC, inviting environmental groups to help them speak. Leadership is supporting the county’s own people.
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution says: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated….” Why should profit for a company from somewhere else give it any right to invade local people’s land for surveying or installing a pipeline? Suwannee County can lead Florida in revoking eminent domain for private companies.
Solar panels don’t require eminent domain, and there are already more jobs in solar power than in all of oil and gas extraction. Solar jobs right here for local people, not for crews from Houston, Texas. Solar panels don’t leak or explode, don’t require testing water, don’t drill under rivers or through spring caverns, and do reduce electric bills and increase property values.
Meanwhile so many pipelines have been denied or delayed lately (even by FERC!), and even “suspended” it’s hard to keep track. Plus the historic 34 aye to 128 nay Georgia House vote against Sabal Trail river-drilling easements: now that was leadership!
Since Chairman Bashaw is concerned with the local economy, he can stop betting on a dirty, losing, 20th-century dead end and start supporting solar power, which is here right now bringing jobs to other counties.
I’ve thanked Chairman Bashaw repeatedly for his hospitality in Suwannee BOCC meetings. I look forward to him leading Sabal Trail out the door and inviting in solar power.
John S. Quarterman, Hahira, Ga, President of the WWALS Watershed Coalition
Dennis Price, the geologist noted and a WWALS member, also published a response in the Suwannee Democrat that will appear here soon.
You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!