An energy company is blaming opposition by Georgia’s legislature after halting work this week on an oil pipeline that would cross across the western part of South Carolina.
Kinder Morgan’s $1 billion Palmetto Pipeline would have linked an existing oil line in the Upstate with coastal Georgia and north Florida. However, residents in Aiken, North Augusta and the surrounding areas joined others in the Peach State to oppose the company’s efforts to buy rights-of-way through eminent domain. Amid the outcry, Georgia lawmakers approved a one-year moratorium on permits for petroleum pipelines in the state.
“While this legislative action was disappointing, we remain committed to providing customized transportation solutions to our customers,” the company said in a statement announcing the work suspension Wednesday. It blamed “unfavorable action by the Georgia Legislature,” a reference to the moratorium.
The Texas-based company did not say how long it would be before work resumes, if at all. The Georgia Department of Transportation had already declined Kinder Morgan’s request for a certificate required to build the pipeline.
Kinder Morgan has touted the 360-mile pipeline as a way to provide fuel for the Augusta, Ga., Savannah, Ga., and Jacksonville, Fl., markets at a lower cost. Opponents are worried about the project’s environmental impact, as well as its effect on the property values of areas it passes through.