Some Florida environmental activists are hoping to channel public interest from one pipeline to another, by organizing a series of protests across the state. This year Native American leaders, activists and celebrities staged a months-long protest at the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline, spurring the Obama Administration to ultimately halt the project. Some Florida environmentalists are taking inspiration from the Dakota Access protests in their own fight against the Sabal Trail Pipeline.
Spectra Energy Corporation, NextEra Energy, Inc. and Duke Energy are building the 515 mile-long pipeline, which will transport natural gas from Tallapoosa County, Alabama to Osceola County, Florida, running through the heart of springs country. The natural gas is ultimately headed for the customers of Florida Power and Light and Duke Energy. Organizers have set up protest camps along the construction sites in rural Live Oak, Branford, Fort Drum and Levy County. But now the environmentalists are hoping to gain more supporters by staging a series of protests in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, St. Pete, Orlando and Jacksonville on December 29th. Activist Anita Stewart says the group is concerned about how the construction, and possible spills, could impact the surrounding environment and water quality.
“We all want the same things for our families. Clean lands, pure water and air,” Stewart said in a written statement. “We want to leave the beauty of this region even better for the next generations.”
If construction continues as planned, the pipeline will be completed by June 2017.