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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

TransCanada Threatens Nebraskans with Eminent Domain Before Keystone XL Approval

TransCanada is swinging the eminent domain hammer on Nebraska landowners. Jane Kleeb at BoldNebraska reports that her neighbors along the proposed Keystone XL pipeline route have started receiving letters from the Canadian tar sands oil company threatening to condemn their land if they don't sign contracts with TransCanada within a month. Pretty ballsy, considering TransCanada hasn't even received permission from the federal government to build the pipeline.

Unlike South Dakota, where our Congressional delegation and other elected leaders have mostly rolled over for Big Oil, Nebraska's Republican Senator Mike Johanns has called TransCanada out on its Don Corleone tactics:

Landowners tell me that TransCanada has set arbitrary deadlines for acceptance of payment offers and threatened the use of eminent domain without so much as an approved permit to move forward with the project. In my letter, I ask TransCanada to immediately lift any deadlines imposed on Nebraska landowners and to negotiate in good faith [Senator Mike Johanns, press release, 2010.08.11].

It's about time I hear a Republican take his party's platform seriously and speak out against a foreign company using eminent domain to seize American citizens' property for its own profit.

TransCanada, of course, continues the corporate doublespeak:

TransCanada's commitment, number one, is to treat landowners with respect... and, number two, to work with landowners and come to a mutually acceptable agreement on easements whenever we can [Jeff Rauh, TransCanada spokesman, quoted in Art Hovey, "Keystone XL Letters Cause Stir," Lincoln Journal-Star, 2010.08.14].

Treat landowners with respect... I guess that means TransCanada will call you Mister when they use the courts to steal your land.

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