On Friday, a federal public comment period for a fracked gas pipeline expansion proposal in Tampa Bay closed with nearly 100 Tampa Bay residents and the national advocacy organization Food & Water Watch filing comments in opposition. The proposal (FERC Docket #CP23-11-000) by Tampa Electric and Texas-based Florida Gas Transmission would expand a length of pipeline in St. Petersburg and add more fossil fuel infrastructure in Tampa to increase gas supply to the Big Bend fracked gas electric generating plant. The proposal requires approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to move forward.
The proposal to bring more fracked gas into the Tampa Bay region comes amidst skyrocketing fossil fueled energy costs for consumers and despite local legislation passed in St. Petersburg and Tampa in 2016 and 2021, respectively, to move off the fossil fuels driving such increased rates. Volatile rising fossil fuel costs drove local energy rates up 11% this month alone.
Brooke Ward, Food & Water Watch Senior Florida Organizer issued the following statement:
“The federal government cannot endorse an expanded local fracked gas pipeline at a time when our region has committed to moving off dirty fossil fuels. Both of the cities where Tampa Electric proposes to expand its gas infrastructure — St. Petersburg and Tampa — have passed legislation to end the use of fossil fuels. All this project would do is deepen Tampa Electric ratepayers’ reliance on these destructive and costly fuels.
“Each new fossil fuel project locks us into decades of reliance on expensive and dangerous gas. Not only are we paying for the increasing cost of that fracked gas, we are paying for these projects as well — at the expense of our health and climate.
“Tampa Electric should be decreasing their use of dirty energy, not building new fossil fuel infrastructure to increase its use, especially when ratepayers will be footing the bill. It is imperative that FERC conduct a full environmental review of this pipeline and stop the polluting project in its tracks.”
Contact: Phoebe Galt, [email protected]