Georgia's governor won't support Palmetto Pipeline plan

Gov. Nathan Deal said the state intends to fight a company's plans to build a $1 billion fuel pipeline from Florida through Georgia to South Carolina.

Miles of pipe ready to become part of the Keystone Pipeline are stacked in a field near Ripley, Okla. AP file/Sue Ogrocki "It's one of those issues that's very controversial, and up to this point in time, the state has had very little input," said Deal. "We should not, at this point in time, agree to the process."

That means the pipeline's fate will likely be hashed out in court, he said. 

The plan, from Texas-based Kinder Morgan, calls for a 360-mile pipeline that would run from Jacksonville, Florida to a sprawling storage facility in Belton, S.C. Officials there have said it would create about 30 permanent jobs in South Carolina.

Deal's decision comes two days after two Kinder Morgan surveyors were charged with trespassing on a Screven County property owned by the family of Billy Morris, the head of a Morris Communications. 

According to an incident report obtained by The Savannah Morning News, one of the surveyors told an arresting officer: "You can’t stop the pipeline, they have enough money to push the pipeline through the county."

A separate proposal for a 157-mile pipeline, known as the Sabal Trail project, has also sparked controversy. That pipeline would span from Alabama to Florida, stretching through nine southwest Georgia counties on the way.

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.