MOBILE, Ala., Oct. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- JobKeeper Alliance, a job-focused nonprofit organization, is weighing in on the oil pipeline controversy and raising questions about the way the project is being handled by the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System (MAWSS).
JobKeeper wants to know what prompted MAWSS, who signed a letter of intent with Plains Southcap last year, to abruptly change their position and mount a widely publicized battle seeking to prevent the company from obtaining a pipeline right-of-way. The group also questions why MAWSS now says an oil pipeline poses an unacceptable risk to watershed, yet has never expressed concern over an existing crude oil pipeline that crosses Big Creek less than a mile from where it empties into Big Creek Lake.
"We want to know if MAWSS' flip-flop on the pipeline was driven by facts or political expediency," said Patrick Cagle, Executive Director of JobKeeper Alliance. "We believe the latter would be damaging to our state's effort to cultivate a business climate that fosters job creation through private investment."
In mid-August, MAWSS issued a press release that JobKeeper calls extremely misleading. The release states "since first approached by Plains for an easement in the summer of 2012, MAWSS has repeatedly stated that the oil pipeline should be located outside the watershed, away from the drinking water supply." However, the four page letter of intent written by MAWSS in November 2012 never mentions locating the pipeline outside of the watershed. In fact, the stated purpose of the letter was to "develop a mutually agreeable scope of work for the construction of this proposed pipeline through the Big Creek Lake Watershed."
That release also says MAWSS' decision to oppose the pipeline was supported by an independent report produced by KBR and "other information gathered by MAWSS' staff." JobKeeper does not believe the KBR report played a significant role in their decision since media reports clearly indicate that MAWSS was against the project weeks before the report was completed. "We want to know more about this 'other information gathered by MAWSS staff.' Where did it come from? What did it say? And does it justify MAWSS' about-face from not opposing the pipeline to adamantly fighting against it?" Cagle said.
Last week, JobKeeper submitted an Open Records Act request to MAWSS seeking copies of documented communications related to the pipeline, which the governmental entity is required to make available to the public upon request. The group hopes this information will provide a better understanding of when and why MAWSS shifted their position on this issue.
JobKeeper Alliance is a 501c(4) alliance formed between the business community and labor. This partnership is cemented by the two group's mutual interest in protecting jobs and working to create new jobs. For more information, visit www.jobkeeperalliance.org
Media Contact: Patrick Cagle, JobKeeper Alliance, (334) 354-0107, Patrick@JobKeeperAlliance.org
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SOURCE JobKeeper Alliance