Dakota pipeline decision leaves Sabal Trail protesters hopeful
GAINESVILLE, Fla -- After the federal government made the decision Sunday to block the Dakota Access pipeline, people against the Sabal Trail pipeline in North Central Florida hope the same happens here.
On Sunday, the U.S. Army announced it denied the easement the pipeline company needed to finish crossing the Missouri River in North Dakota.
"It's not so much a victory right now," Gainesville's Joshua Birmingham said on Monday. "It's a step towards that."
In November, more than 100 people gathered at an intersection in Gainesville to protest the Dakota Access pipeline and the Sabal Trail pipeline.
"We're all for the same cause," Birmingham said on Monday.
The Sabal Trail pipeline is a $3 billion project stretching through Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. It is set to carry natural gas through dozens of counties across the state including Alachua, Marion, Suwannee, Levy, and Gilchrist counties.
After Sunday's decision in North Dakota, protesters like Birmingham are hoping the same will be done when it comes to Sabal Trail.
"Hopefully it'll have the same results," Birmingham said. "Hopefully the Army Corps will work with us. Maybe reroute, maybe even stop and pull permits."
"It gives us hope here in Florida too," said Sabal Trail pipeline protester Mike Roth. "That we can get the Army Corps of Engineers to revisit their permitting here."
The Sabal Trail pipeline is expected to be complete by June 2017.
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