Kinder Morgan Releases Impact Study of Proposed Palmetto Pipeline on Georgia’s Economy

Staff Report From Savannah CEO

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

According to renowned University of Georgia economist Jeffrey Dorfman, the Palmetto Pipeline proposed by Kinder Morgan, Inc. will result in an estimated benefit to Georgia of $3.9 billion over the next 20 years. 

“With a current population of 1.3 million Georgians in the potential service area for the Palmetto Pipeline, the total economic benefits to Georgia become quite large. In its first 20 years of operation, the economic impact from pipeline construction and operations will be $948 million (in today’s dollars),” Dorfman noted. “The value of saved lives and reduced injuries from fewer truck miles adds roughly another $2 billion over 20 years (about $100 million per year). In addition to the amount Georgians could save on fuel costs, that means a potential benefit to Georgia of approximately $3.9 billion over 20 years.”

The study, able to be downloaded at, outlines how the Palmetto Pipeline will generate $46 million in new state and local tax revenues and create nearly 5,400 construction and operation jobs in Georgia over the first 20 years.. In terms of safety, the study also determined the pipeline will help alleviate truck accidents by replacing 750 daily tanker trips daily. In 2012, truck accidents caused nearly 4,000 fatalities versus 13 deaths caused by pipelines over three years. In addition, Dorfman’s research concluded the pipeline will help meet future demand for petroleum and save Georgia households $828 million.

“The bottom line is many landowners are positive about the project and the many benefits it will bring to the region. The economic benefits (such as lower fuel prices, tax revenues, jobs and spending at retail establishments) combined with the prospect of getting trucks off the road and products underground are beginning to resonate with area residents,” said Allen Fore, vice president of public affairs, Kinder Morgan. “Overall, the communities along the pipeline route are embracing what this project will provide – more competition and a safer alternative to trucking for fuel transportation into these markets.”

Most recently, Dorfman released a study analyzing the economic impacts of the state’s flagship institution on the state’s economy ($4.4 billion across the state, $355 million in Savannah alone). He is a recognized expert in the economics of development, growth, sprawl, green space, and farmland preservation, and has worked for American Farmland Trust, the Turner Foundation, The Georgia Conservancy, 1000 Friends of Florida, and numerous local governments on growth related issues. He earned a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from the University of California, Davis in 1989 and has been a professor in the Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics at The University of Georgia since then.