Pipeline critics give their side to regulators

Wednesday, January 5th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Mobile, Alabama-AP) -- Federal regulators heard from property owners concerned about the impact of a 400-mile natural gas pipeline between Alabama and south Florida, with some saying it could spoil their neighborhood. One pipeline would be built by the Williams Companies of Tulsa, Okla., from Coden under Dauphin Island, then east across the Gulf of Mexico to a point north of Saint Petersburg, Florida, then east to Cape Canaveral.

The other would be built by Houston-based Coastal Corporation from separate points in Pascagoula and Coden, joining in Mississippi sound, going around the west end of Dauphin Island, then east to a point near Bradenton, Florida, then east to areas near West Palm Beach.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Mobile, Alabama last night began collecting public comments on the environmental issues arising from the Gulf of Mexico pipeline proposal. The hearings shift to New Port Richey, Florida, tonight. Residents living in south Mobile County near the pipeline site said it wasn't fair for them to suffer for Florida residents when that state resists the kind of offshore natural gas exploration providing the gas for these pipelines. Henry Teaford of Coden put it this way: "I feel the citizens of Alabama should not sell a natural resource ... to a neighboring state that refuses to drill their own gas and natural resources to do the same job."