UNF Study: Proposed Fuel Pipeline Into Jacksonville Makes Good Economic Sense

Feb 25, 2016

Existing Plantation Pipeline in red; proposed Palmetto Pipeline in green.
Credit KM

A University of North Florida study finds a proposed fuel pipeline from South Carolina to Jacksonville would add hundreds of jobs and swell local tax coffers by millions of dollars.

North America energy company Kinder Morgan commissioned the economic impact-study to assess its Palmetto Pipeline project.  The 360-mile-long underground conduit would connect to an existing pipeline near Belton, South Carolina, and run south through Nassau and Duval counties to JaxPort.

Kinder Morgan Vice President of Public Affairs Allen Fore says the pipeline would be a business magnet for the Southeast.

“When businesses locate, one of the things they look at is the energy part because energy is a “cost center” for businesses,” he says. “So when you can offer up additional, reliable supply, that’s going to be encouraging to businesses either to locate here or to grow here.”

Among the study’s findings, the proposed Palmetto Pipeline would:

·      Generate 253 new  jobs

·      Increase spending on goods and services by nearly $10 million

·      Increase local tax revenues by $792,000 during construction

·      Increase local tax revenues by $7 million over five years in operation.

Fore says he expects Florida regulators to review Kinder Morgan’s permit application for the Palmetto Pipeline sometime this spring.

But the project has drawn widespread opposition, and not just from environmental groups.

Last year, the Georgia Department of Transportation refused Kinder Morgan’s request to use eminent domain to force landowners to sell property along the pipeline’s proposed path.