Many in the environmental community are expressing concern over Houston-based Kinder Morgan’s desire to build a $1 billion pipeline that would meander through 11 counties in Georgia, 6 counties in South Carolina, and 2 counties in Florida. Those against the pipeline’s construction have expressed concern over the potential damage it could inflict upon Georgia’s rivers and marshlands as well as the Floridan Aquifer, which serves as a source of water to millions in the surrounding areas. The pipeline’s opponents also express doubt in any long-term, local economic benefits.
In an article published in the Savannah Morning News, president of Georgia Conservancy, Robert Ramsay, and environmentalist Sean McGlynn go on record communicating their concerns:
One of Ramsay’s fears — which is echoed by other ecologists — is that the pipeline might spring a leak, dumping oil and related products into sensitive and largely pristine rural areas along its planned route through South Carolina, Georgia and north Florida.
“With the price of oil so cheap, I’m shocked they’re even considering it,” McGlynn said. “This was proposed years ago. We were totally against it then and we’re totally against it now.”
“Those who would profit would be the out-of-state corporate executives and shareholders of Kinder Morgan, and the only long-term local jobs that the pipeline could provide would be those of an environmental clean-up crew if the pipeline were to rupture, as the Plantation Pipeline recently did in South Carolina,” Ramsay said.
While opponents, such as those above, express their doubts and concerns over the pipeline’s potential risks, Kinder Morgan’s Palmetto Pipeline facts website delineates benefits such as lower fuel prices in the Southeast, temporary and full-time job opportunities, and increased tax revenue for Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina.
Clearly, the pipeline’s construction is a great source of debate in the Southeast, and if the debate over Keystone XL is any indication, this debate could continue for weeks, months, years, etc. Stay tuned for more developing news regarding the pipeline.