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How Can A Foreign OIL Company Seize American Property?

luvguins 2012/02/23 17:16:11

The arrogance of TransCanada is shocking, even for an oil company.


The company is threatening to seize the property of American landowners and start construction of its Keystone XL pipeline — even though President Obama last month rejected the permit to build the pipeline.


The pipeline path includes the 600 acre working farm that Julia Trigg Crawford's grandfather bought in 1948, on the Texas Oklahoma border, where the Red River meets Bois d'Arc Creek, which waters the farm.


Fearing for the safety of her farm and it's water source, Julia Trigg rejected TransCanada's offer to buy an easement on her land.


TransCanada announced it was seizing her land under eminent domain and would begin digging, but Julia won a temporary restraining order,1 at least until this Friday when the court will hear the case challenging Transcanada's status as a "common carrier" under Texas law.


It's bad enough that TransCanada expect landowners like Julia Trigg to accept permanent damage to their land and possible oil spills. But it's beyond arrogant for this foreign oil company to trample on private property rights and start construction on a project whose permit has just been denied!


Under eminent domain, the government can force landowners to accept monetary payment for the use of their land for certain public-good projects like highways and railroads.


Of course, TransCanada's massive fuse to the carbon bomb of the tar sands shouldn't qualify as one of these projects — it does great harm and only helps the profits of a foreign corporation. But regardless, the company doesn't even have the permit to build it, because the White House just rejected their application. But that hasn't stopped TransCanada.


According to The New York Times, the company has at least 34 eminent domain actions against landowners in Texas, and 22 in South Dakota.2 And their threats to landowners in Nebraska3 helped spark massive public opposition and a special legislative session that were key in the decision to consider a different route.


Many of these landowners are being sued by the company, and told that if they don't take the small monetary offering — sometimes less than $10,000 in exchange for the permanent damage to their land, and huge risk of spills — their land will be condemned and TransCanada will seize the easement.


Julia Trigg and others are fighting back and doing everything they can to oppose TransCanada's land grab.


Everyone from environmentalists to Tea Partiers in Texas are showing their support for Americans' property rights.4 As these court challenges unfold, we need to build pressure against TransCanada and spread the word about their reprehensible tactics.

Read more here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/18/us/transcanada-in-eminent-d...
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Top Opinion

  • C. C. Rider 2012/02/23 18:24:36
    C. C. Rider
    +12
    TransCanada is in for a rude awakening. You could not pay me to piss off a Canadain and they just did. It will not go far.



    cartoons on transcanada

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  • Gregaj7 2012/04/14 20:57:33
    Gregaj7
    +1
    International bankruptcy of the United States Inc.
  • Dagon 2012/04/14 18:17:01
  • Billyk75 2012/04/14 18:16:35
    Billyk75
    +1
    Through George Soros.
  • \V/ 2012/04/14 03:07:46
  • marianne \V/ 2012/04/14 04:11:32
    marianne
    +2
    yes, i just wonder if there is a petition that i can sign ..... ;]
  • words t... \V/ 2012/04/15 02:33:46
    words to live by
    Do you smoke?
  • \V/ words t... 2012/04/15 05:46:50
  • kudabux 2012/04/06 19:13:30
    kudabux
    I wonder how much of this land in South Dakota belongs to the Native Americans. Don't tell me they are getting screwed again. Contact your congressmen and tell them to get off their fat asses and do something about it. I am!
  • Met 2012/04/06 17:50:37
    Met
    +1
    Isn't that just... Republican.
  • U-Dog 2012/03/03 04:48:34
    U-Dog
    Obama supports TransCanada's bid to push ahead with part of oil pipeline. White House welcomes construction of portion of pipeline between Oklahoma and Texas, but activists condemn 'betrayal'

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/env...
  • ProudProgressive 2012/02/28 21:36:02
    ProudProgressive
    +3
    I don't believe they can do this under either state or federal eminent domain laws. Eminent domain laws derive from the Fifth Amendment, which states - "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." Traditionally this power is used by governments (fed, state or local) for projects deemed to be in the public interest, like building highways, running electrical wires, etc. It can be used by a corporation working on a public project, but if I'm not mistaken (this is not exactly my area of expertise) they can only do so with the government's consent. Since the government has not yet approved the pipeline project, I do not believe that Keystone has any authority to attempt to seize private property.
  • \V/ ProudPr... 2012/04/14 03:10:29
  • chgo 2012/02/27 03:13:38
    chgo
    +1
    TransCanada, the Canadian owner of the Keystone Pipeline, has 56 eminent domain lawsuits filed against American citizens, even though they do not have approval for the project by the State Department.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/1...
  • Pieter Joubert 2012/02/26 21:44:07
    Pieter Joubert
    +1
    The outcome will set the tone for future landgrabs by foreign companies. The funny thing is the refineries that is suppose to process this oil is already running at full capacity and adding a pipeline does not help. The second funny part is that the majority shareholders in the oil companies in Canada is the Chinese. They will be moving the oil to China and not the USA.
  • tea for you 2012/02/25 12:34:12
    tea for you
    +2
    "TransCanada's massive fuse to the carbon bomb of the tar sands" . 1/1000 of 1% of the worlds CO2 emissions is hardly a carbon bomb
  • Matt 2012/02/24 19:47:48
    Matt
    +2
    Not much good news here !
    ______ ______ ______ ______ _____ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______
    Question: Can TransCanada's Keystone Pipeline take private property in America by eminent domain?

    Answer: Yes, corporate Canadian energy giant, TransCanada, can effectively take private property from American citizens using the power of eminent domain.

    Utility providers such as natural gas, electric, telecommunications and water/sewer companies generally may be granted the power of eminent domain by the local, state or federal government for the purpose of constructing utility infrastructure that is considered a public purpose or having public benefit. The power of eminent domain may be bestowed upon such utility companies, whether considered private or public, by statute and often must be approved by government regulatory agencies, such as FERC in the case of pipelines and transmission projects. Because eminent domain laws and procedures vary from state to state, there may be a number of prerequisites required of companies seeking to use eminent domain for these projects.
    http://ownerscounsel.blogspot...
  • ProudPr... Matt 2012/02/28 21:38:00
    ProudProgressive
    +3
    The key part of that is "may be granted the power of eminent domain by the local, state or federal government". In other words, they can't exercise any power of eminent domain unless a government lets them.
  • Matt ProudPr... 2012/02/28 21:58:43
    Matt
    I wonder if one Federal eminent domain grant overrides states autonomy ?
  • ProudPr... Matt 2012/02/28 22:09:35
    ProudProgressive
    +2
    I believe so. The supremacy clause (Article 6 of the Constitution) provides that Federal laws are the supreme law of the land. However, that would likely be limited to matters which are inherently interstate in nature, like this pipeline. When it comes to purely internal matters, like if a state wanted to build a new road entirely within the state, the Feds probably would not have jurisdiction.
  • goinpostal 2012/02/24 12:10:22
    goinpostal
    MONEY AND LAWYERS RUN THE COURTS.THEY WILL JUST DRAG IT OUT AND WAIT FOR THE SMALL SUIT TO RUN OUT OF MONEY
  • aneed2know 2012/02/24 08:28:44
    aneed2know
    +1
    with republican's help.
  • Tom Degan 2012/02/24 08:20:01
    Tom Degan
    +3
    American oil companies (backed by American military might) have been seizing foreign property for over a century now. What do you think our illegal invasion of Iraq was all about? Do you think if that country's main export had been galvanized bicycle clamps America would have wasted all of the time and treasure (not to mention human lives) there?

    This is what is known as "payback time".

    http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

    Tom Degan
  • tea for... Tom Degan 2012/02/25 12:36:14
    tea for you
    excellent point Tommy boy. Oil is the easiest commodity to see in the world market
  • ZERO 2012/02/24 05:53:54
    ZERO
    +3
    Dilbit, the technical term for oil sands oil, short for diluted bitumen, is EXTREMELY TOXIC. If you want to see just how toxic it is, do a search for "dilbit msds" (msds means 'material safety data sheet') it is alarming.

    Rather than building an insanely dangerous pipeline, they should build a refinery in Alberta and ship finished products to the US by rail. But, since all those bastards care about is money, it is obviously cheaper / more profitable to build a pipeline to existing refineries in the southern US.
  • ladyjane 2012/02/24 05:53:35
    ladyjane
    I would like to know where the he++ Canada gets off coming into the United States and starts thinking they have the right to use any kind of eminent domain in this country? Where did they get the permission to do so? That's where I would start my fight if I were these people! This isn't the North American Union if that's what they are banking on!
  • ZERO ladyjane 2012/02/24 06:08:48
    ZERO
    +1
    This has nothing to do with 'Canada', TransCanada is a publicly traded pipline company based in Calgary who is under contract to build the pipeline. They cannot use any kind of eminent domain, only the US government can do that.
  • ladyjane ZERO 2012/02/24 06:11:51
    ladyjane
    +1
    Has anyone told them that?
  • ZERO ladyjane 2012/02/24 06:59:01
    ZERO
    +1
    I have no idea.
  • The Albertan 2012/02/24 05:06:47
    The Albertan
    +1
    I do disagree with keystone XL, however Alberta's economy is mostly based on oil and without it our "richest province in canada" status would be gone and social services would suffer. Also i'd say the impact of offshore drilling is much more than the impact on the environment the OIL sands cause.
  • tea for... The Alb... 2012/02/25 12:42:25
    tea for you
    where would Quebec get it's play money if not from the oil money Alberta generously sends them ?
  • The Alb... tea for... 2012/02/27 04:45:23
    The Albertan
    it's not generosity, it's due to the federal transfer payment program so us Albertans actually give money to the federal government who then gives it to Quebec, but i don't see a problem with it as they are one of the poorer provinces.
  • tea for... The Alb... 2012/02/27 12:53:31
    tea for you
    Quebec chooses to be poor . they have every possible social program from dental to day care . It's not the Quebecer that's the problem . It's the government , I love Quebec the culture and the people . A distinct society indeed. they should rebel against the provincial goverment not the federal
  • The Alb... tea for... 2012/02/28 02:26:03
    The Albertan
    +1
    Well you know the general lack of lots of OIL or POTASH is what makes all the poorest provinces in canada poor. The government of quebec really cant decide what natural resources they have there. But indo agree that the solution for quebec is not to fight the federal government.
  • tea for... The Alb... 2012/02/28 12:33:49
    tea for you
    poverty is caused by to high of taxes .Quebec has many great revenue resources
  • The Alb... tea for... 2012/03/01 08:08:06
    The Albertan
    not as many as Alberta and Saskatchewan, they are a consuming province (like most of the eastern provinces) Also you must understand Quebec is the province with the least MATERIAL wealth. it does however have the highest standard of living in Canada, with one of the highest minimums wages in Canada, the cheapest tuition fees, it's better to be "poor" in Quebec then it is in Alberta. However it is better to be rich in Alberta then it is in Quebec.
  • tea for... The Alb... 2012/03/01 12:04:18
    tea for you
    Alberta has no neede for a min. wage everybody works above that wage .$15.00 and up.No prov. sales tax and a flat10% prov.income tax. Ft. Mac labours make upwards to $80,000 Alberta has the hottest economy in North America if not the planet
  • The Alb... tea for... 2012/03/03 02:58:01
    The Albertan
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA everybody works for above that wage? are you sure? are you positive? because i make 10.75 an hour. I work at the world water park. and people that work there make as low as 9.40. also most fast food chains don't pay that much, waiting tables makes even less and bar tenders get a whole different minimum wage for themselves....... i'd say a good 25% or more of Alberta's workforce works in low paying jobs. Also most university students or young people in general make less than 15$ an hour. to say EVERYBODY works above that wage here is out of touch.
  • tea for... The Alb... 2012/03/03 12:59:41
    tea for you
    I'd say you are not trying . Open a paper and there are ad after ad calling for help. Move to Ft.Mac ,
  • The Alb... tea for... 2012/03/04 03:11:03
    The Albertan
    i'd say i'm a student and can't really just go to fort mac buddy. don't be so stupid. yes Alberta has the highest median income but then it also has the lowest.
  • tea for... The Alb... 2012/03/04 13:05:01
    tea for you
    you don't know what you're talking about . the lowest LOL. Should have stay in Quebec or Ontario. The west is holding up Canada's pants
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