Pipeline protesters want Florida project halted

$3B Sabal Trail Pipeline runs from Alabama through Georgia into Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Dozens of people gathered Thursday outside Jacksonville’s Army Corps of Engineers office on the Southbank, asking the agency to shut down a natural gas pipeline that will run through Florida.

It’s called the Sabal Trail Pipeline, and it starts in Alabama and runs through south Georgia and into Central Florida.

The $3 billion project is a joint endeavor between Spectra Energy, NextEra Energy and Duke Energy -- companies that say it will bring affordable power sources to the Sunshine State.

But many people believe the pipeline will do more harm than good.

READ: Statement from Sabal Trail Pipeline

Dozens of passionate protesters with signs chanted for change, despite the weather Thursday. About a dozen Jacksonville police officers were called to monitor the protest and keep demonstrators out of the road.

The protest in Jacksonville was just one of several protests that took place Thursday in Florida. Demonstrators said the pipeline could harm Florida’s ecosystem, especially the aquifer.

“It’s risking not only places that I hold sacred as far as experiences, memories and the water that I drink is being risked, and I have my daughter down here,” protester Josh Weber said.

The protesters said they cannot stand for this, and that it’s bad news all around.

“The springs are beautiful and us, as humans, are coming and destroying them,” protester Samantha Flament said. “I don’t know why greed is more important than life.”

News4Jax requested comment from the Army Corps of Engineers and the companies behind the project.

A pipeline spokeswoman said she respects the protesters' right to free speech. But that the pipeline “will provide an economic benefit to each county the pipeline crosses, as well as the region, by creating jobs and generating local revenue through taxes, as well as help meet the growing demand for clean-burning energy resources.”

The protesters said they won’t stop standing up for what they believe is right, and they want the project canceled. 

About the Author: