Mobile Residents Travel By Bus To Argue Against Pipeline
Updated: Wednesday, October 30 2013, 11:09 AM CDT
SARALAND, Ala. (WPMI) Residents from across Mobile gathered Wednesday at 5 a.m. in a Walmart parking lot with a single goal: To prohibit the replacement of a Plains All-American pipeline.
Residents filled a 56-seat coach bus destined for Montgomery where the Alabama Public Service Commission is scheduled to meet Wednesday. The bus was paid for by local doctor Ralph Pfeiffer for all interested in attending the meeting.
The Commission is scheduled to review a certificate of industrial development for Plains Mobile Inc. (The company is a subsidiary of Plains All-American.) The certificate would allow the company to replace a 2.4 mile, 36-inch crude oil pipeline that runs through the Eight Mile community.
Plains Mobile says the $14.4 million upgrade is necessary to make the pipeline safer for the community although there has not been any issue with the pipeline to date. The pipeline has been in operation for 40 years.
Residents who gathered Wednesday morning are skeptical that the company will begin to use the pipeline to transfer tar sands. This type of oil source has been heavily criticized by environmental groups. Rick McMichael, the Director of Operations for Plains All-American refuted that claim in an informational meeting held by the PSC in Mobile on Monday.
The biggest misconception from the public is that this is a tar sands project. The pipeline is not designed to have tar sands and its not intended to have tar sands, said McMichael.
This is not the first time one of Plains All-Americans subsidiaries has caused controversy in Mobile. Plains Southcap is still embroiled in a legal dispute with the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System over a pipeline that is scheduled to be placed in the Big Creek Lake watershed. Plains Southcap is attempting to have the land which is owned by MAWSS condemned in order to complete the pipeline. The Big Creek Lake watershed is the only source of drinking water for Mobile.