Sunday, April 1, 2007

Pipe Hype

Please, nobody say, "boo!" No telling what Georgia Republicans might give away. As reported yesterday in the Telegraph, Colonial Pipeline wants the legislature to pass SB 173 so that, in the future, when they want to build new pipeline, they will be able to condemn private property without actually proving the pipeline is needed. We should just trust that they will use these rights only as a last resort.

The bill would expose up to 150,000 acres in Middle Georgia and a million acres statewide to the potential of condemnation. To hear Colonial tell it, they need to build pipeline quickly and if we do not get rid of our irritating protections for landowners, well, maybe Georgia just won't have the fuel we need. Talk about bold. Sen. Staton said that we 'have to have fuel.' Does he really think that we won't have fuel? Isn't it his job to stand up to these corporate bullies on behalf of Georgia property owners?

Evoking memories of Katrina in an effort to scare us into giving up protections for private property owners, Colonial has teamed up with the GOP to sell this bill. Haven't we learned to be cautious when big government and big business team up with an agenda to scare us into giving up our civil liberties?

The thing is, as Fain reports, Colonial wants to build this pipeline in Georgia by 2010, but even in the article, they fail to make the case for why the line is needed and why time is of the essence. Colonial has been heavily fined for spills in nine states including Georgia. One of the spills near Athens, Georgia created a cloud of gasoline fumes that caused Colonial employees to flee. Apparently, the Governor's floor leader in the House, Rep. Rich Golick is not concerned about the history of spills. He said:

"if somebody's on a tight time frame, it just might not be convenient (to go around populated areas)," said state Rep. Rich Golick, a Smyrna Republican and Gov. Sonny Perdue's senior floor leader in the House.

Well, we wouldn't want Colonial to be inconvenienced, would we? It is amazing how Republicans talk about protecting private property rights during election season and then turn tail and run during session.


PoliticalGod said...

Nice post, Amy!

Keep up the good work!

For those of you opposed to SB 173, I strongly encourage you to call House Speaker Glenn Richardson - I know, I know - but he's the one controlling this bill right now since it got ramrodded through the Senate.

You can reach Richardson at 404-656-5020, or email him at and tell him to vote NO to SB 173!

Amy Morton said...

Think he'll take my call? :)

Kathy said...

Guess they won't be putting the pipeline through Cecil's backyard.

So many of our legislators have long ago given up even the pretense of serving average Georgians. Speaker Richardson has proven himself particularly immune to entreaty. Given his remarks about cutting health care for the children he is supposed to serve, I would be astounded if he were in the least interested in protecting the property rights of his constituents.