Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Thousands of Sabal Trail Pipeline protesters will gather at Suwannee River this weekend

Posted By on Tue, Jan 10, 2017 at 12:49 PM

  • Photo va Suwannee River State Park/Facebook
This weekend, thousands of protesters, or "Water Protectors," will be gathering at Suwannee River State Park to bring attention to the Sabal Trail Pipeline.

Back in October, the Suwannee Democrat reported on several members of the American Indian Movement erecting a camp site in Live Oak, Florida, close to where the Sabal Trail Pipeline was beginning construction. Four months have passed and construction is approaching its approved crossing of the Suwannee river. 

This has resulted in a call for a "massive civil protest," which is set to occur at Suwannee River State Park on Jan. 14 and 15 where thousands are expected to consolidate their efforts.

Duke Energy, Nextera Energy and Spectra, the financial backers of the North Dakota Access Pipeline, are stirring up the environmentally compassionate across the state as they begin to cut through the Suwannee River State Park with the 515-mile-long federally approved Sabal Trail Pipeline, which threatens state-protected wildlife and various vital water sources throughout Central Florida.

In 2016, The Florida Legislature Office of Economic and Demographic Research projected that Florida would finally breach the 20 million population milestone, which would result in an increase in energy usage. Renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, are not keeping pace with the population growth and has led to the state looking elsewhere for a more sustainable future.

Oil pipelines have not held the cleanest of reputations as of late, despite the fact that they are 70 times safer, accident-wise, than freighter trucks. Incidents may be fewer but the impact of an accident with the pipeline would be far more detrimental to the surrounding public and nature. 

In the past protest meetings have been held in Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville and Tampa.

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