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Bob-of-Freeport
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« on: 05 17, 14, 12:55:01:PM » Reply

  The pipeline’s route would pass through the Sandhills in north-central Nebraska and over the Ogallala Aquifer, the lifeblood of Great Plains agriculture.

In much of the region, the water table is at or near the surface.


Starting in 2008, land agents working with TransCanada spread out along the route to begin acquiring easements. They sat at kitchen tables and told landowners how the line would wean the country off dependence on foreign oil, how it would bring jobs to Americans and money to the landowners.


But the terms they offered seemed one-sided: Trans­Canada would hold the easements for as long as the pipeline was in place, and the company reserved the right to abandon the pipe in the ground.


In Texas, some landowners sued the company in state court, arguing that the project misused eminent-domain laws. One landowner in East Texas, David Daniel, built a network of treehouses along his 20 acres, and environ­mental­ activists from the group Tar Sands Blockade camped in them, slowing the pipeline’s progress. (Daniel backed down when the company’s lawyers threatened to sue him.) But it was only in Nebraska that the unrest coalesced into a cohesive, powerful movement.


Pipelines carrying oil, unlike those for natural gas, are mostly regulated by the states. In all but Colorado, pipelines generally get the right of eminent domain — but most states can restrict that right, determining whether pipelines are in the public interest and what routes they can take. In 13 states, including Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma (and, until recently, Nebraska), there is no such approval process. If a company wants the land but the owner doesn’t want to make a deal, it can deposit its estimated fair value with a court and start building. If a landowner wants to challenge the company, he has to square off in court against a multibillion-dollar corporation.


This leaves landowners with no bargaining power when the companies come calling for their land. “Pipeline companies hold all the cards,” says Jeremy Hopkins, a Virginia attorney who has represented hundreds of landowners in eminent-domain cases. “The company decides where they’re going to put the pipeline, the rights they’re going to take. No ordinary buyer has that kind of power.”

Whatever its legal rights, Trans­Canada badly misread popular sentiment in Nebraska. The state is Republican but deeply independent; it was the home of William Jennings Bryan and the late-1800s populist movement. Rather than rallying behind the idea of American independence from Middle Eastern oil, Nebraskans saw a foreign company coming into their state and asserting rights to land that had been in their families for generations.


Trans­Canada came in with “corporate weaponry blazing,” Domina said. He claimed that agents lied to his clients about whether their neighbors had signed easement agreements and about how little money they would get if they didn’t.


When the agents contacted Randy Thompson about his family’s land in Merrick County, Thompson was confused at first, and then angry. “They came out here with this great sense of entitlement,” Thompson told me, “and we were just supposed to get out of the road. They said all the neighbors had signed, and if we were smart, we’d sign now — or we’d get a lot less money. These guys just treat you like bugs they can squash.”

nytimes .com/2014/05/18/magazine/jane-kleeb-vs-the-keystone-pipeline.html?google_editors_picks=true&_r=0
caserio1
Sr. Member

Posts: 89418


« Reply #1 on: 05 18, 14, 02:56:27:PM » Reply

obama is trying to protect us

but the right will have none of it

because

it will make obama look good

no other reason
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