Sabal Trail Pipeline from Alabama to Florida, United States

The Sabal Trail Natural Gas Pipeline, currently under construction, covers three US States. Opposition stems from civilians and environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club, due to severe environmental impact. However, construction pushes ahead.


In 2011 the Florida Power and Light Company commissioned NextEra Energy, Spectra Energy and Duke Energy to construct a 515-mile natural gas pipeline originating in Alabama and traversing Georgia before terminating in Florida (Edelstein, 2016). The pipeline is intended to service the gas needs of the central Floridian population. Construction began in 2016, and although originally estimated to be completed in 2017, is now set to be finished in 2021. They have received approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as well as the Environmental Protection Agencies from the affected states to continue construction amid protests, as the states value the potential benefits of construction in terms of economic growth and job creation. 

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Basic Data
NameSabal Trail Pipeline from Alabama to Florida, United States
CountryUnited States of America
ProvinceFlorida, Georgia and Alabama
SiteSuwannee River
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Shale gas fracking
Land acquisition conflicts
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Specific CommoditiesLand
Natural Gas
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe pipeline transports 830,000 Dth/day. (A dekatherm (dth) is a unit of energy used primarily to measure natural gas. It is equal to 10 therms or 1,000,000 British thermal units or 1.055 GJ. It is also approximately equal to one thousand cubic feet (Mcf) of natural gas). (Wikipedia).

The pipeline is 515 miles long.
Level of Investment (in USD)3,200,000,000
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected PopulationResidents of Alabama, Georgia, and Florida
Start Date01/09/2016
Company Names or State EnterprisesDuke Energy from United States of America
NextEra Energy from United States of America
Spectra Energy Corp from United States of America
Florida Power and Light Company from United States of America
Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC from United States of America
Relevant government actorsUnited States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Georgia's Environmental Protection Division

Florida's Department of Environmental Protection

Suwannee River Water Management District
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersSierra Club (

WWALS Watershed Coalition (

Seminole Tribe of North Florida (

Council of the Original Miccosukee Simanolee Nation Aboriginal Peoples

Wiregrass Activist for Clean Energy

Gulf Restoration Network (

Flint Riverkeeper (
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationLand occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Street protest/marches
Property damage/arson
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution
Potential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusUnder construction
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCriminalization of activists
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Project temporarily suspended
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.No, because the project is still ongoing.
Sources and Materials

Adgie, Joe. (22 Oct. 2014). “Residents Protest Sabal Trail.” Valdosta Daily Times. Valdosta, GA. (Accessed on 22.03.2018).

Adgie, Joe. (27 Oct. 2015). “EPA Demands Sabal Redirect From Florida Aquifer.” Valdosta Daily Times. Valdosta, GA. (Accessed on 22.03.2018).

Bluestein, Greg. (27 Oct. 2015). “Feds Deliver Blow to Proposed Sabal Trail Pipeline Running through Georgia.” Politically Georgia. (Accessed on 22.03.2018).

Edelstein, Karen. (29 Nov. 2016) “The Sabal Trail Pipeline: A Sinking Feeling.” Fracttracker Alliance. (Accessed on 22.03.2018).

Lipscomb, Jessica. (7 Mar. 2017). “Sabal Trail Pipeline will be an Envionrmental and Economic Disaster, Critics Warn” Miami New Times. Miami, FL. (Accessed on 22.03.2018).

Luscombe, Richard. (24 Jan. 2017). “Why a Protest Camp in Florida is Being Called the next Standing Rock.” The Guardian. (Accessed on 22.03.2018).

Patterson, Steve. (14 Nov. 2016). “Gas Pipeline Project Headed to Suwannee River Leads into Georgia Waterway; Sparks Environmental Worries.” The Florida Times Union. Jacksonville, FL. (Accessed on 22.03.2018).

Sabal Pipeline Official Site
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Media Links

Miami New Times. Stinky Leaks From Florida's Controversial Sabal Trail Pipeline Scares Residents. Jessica Lipscomb | August 17, 2017
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Shutdown averted for Sabal Trail pipeline. Ellen M. Gilmer, E&E News reporter. Energywire: Thursday, March 8, 2018
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Other Documents

Map of pipeline
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorEmilio Mattiuzzo ([email protected]) and Megan Asher ([email protected]) under the supervision of Gabriel Weber ([email protected]).
Last update23/04/2018