Middle Class Win: Judge Halts Foreign Oil From Taking Private Land By Eminent Domain


In typical “the little guy doesn’t matter” fashion, TransCanada, the company trying to use the US as a pass-through to profit from dirty tar sands oil with their Keystone XL project, is throwing its weight around in Nebraska.

TransCanada hasn’t been able to get around the objections of almost seventy land-owners in Nebraska who don’t want Keystone’s environmental impacts in their backyards.  The answer for a multi-billion dollar oil company?  Take the land anyway by eminent domain.

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Last month, a lower court ruled that the law TransCanada was exploiting to take private land was unconstitutional, but red states are controlled by money, not the people who live in them, so the Nebraska Supreme Court overruled the lower court.

That law, LB1161, basically states that while Nebraska cares about the environment and the best interest of its citizens, oil companies are slightly more important. Under the law they are given free rein to do whatever is necessary to establish and maintain pipelines, including fracking, sub-stations and pump-houses, as long as they fill out the proper paperwork.

All verbiage related to Federal approval or the EPA has been stricken through.

With the nearly seventy new cases pending in court and now an injunction by a state judge, the Nebraska Supreme Court is forced to revisit the case this summer.

It may be a small win for Main Street, but in today’s day and age any win against big oil is a major victory.

Keystone passed both chambers of Congress at the Federal Level in a bill that takes away the President’s authority to rule on his State Department’s recommendations concerning Keystone.  The President has said he will veto the bill.

The EPA has said in a letter that Keystone would increase the carbon footprint by the equivalent of six-million passenger cars.

The President, as well as many economists and environmentalists, have questioned the motives of the pipeline, citing the infinitesimal number of permanent jobs it will create so a Canadian energy mogul can ship its product across our country to sell elsewhere.

H/T: Think Progress | Image: Inhabitat.com

 

 

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