Oklahoma Family Throws Roadblock Into TransCanada’s Tar Sands Plans

A family from the Okie state is not at all OK with a foreign oil company trying to grab its land in the perverse name of U.S. national interest. Today, the White family of Bryan County, Oklahoma, launched a lawsuit challenging TransCanada’s forced land grab to make way for its planned 1,900-mile-long Keystone XL pipeline. This project, which would pipe dirty, corrosive tar sand crude from Alberta to the Gulf Coast, is opposed by environmental groups. (Kenny Bruno of the No Tar Sands Oil Coalition has blogged extensively on Change.org detailing the risks.) Even conservative Nebraska Sen. Mike Johanns (R.) has been extremely concerned about potential water contamination and spills through America’s heartland. But back to the White family. The Whites have lived in Bryan County, Oklahoma since before it became a state in 1907. A.L. and Dollie White acquired a farm in 1941 and expanded it in 1950. One daughter still lives there, one daughter has built a house to retire there, and a grandchild wants to build a home on the property’s corner. That last bit may be hard, if TransCanada has its way. That’s the part of their land TransCanada wants to condemn for a right-of-way. Since they don’t want to sell, this would occur through the controversial process of eminent domain, which allows government to force private landowners to sell their property in the name of the public’s interest. “I don’t think it is fair for a foreign company doing business in the U.S. to come in and railroad us by taking our land without our consent,” said Sue Kelso of Duncanville, Texas, daughter of A.L. and Dollie White, in a statement released by the coalition fighting this project. “Eminent domain is supposed to benefit everyone. Who’s going to benefit from this pipeline except the oil companies and the Chinese?” [Chinese investors own a heavy stake in TransCanada). This pipeline is in anything but in the public interest. In fact, the pipeline is a substantial risk for an oil spill that would pollute the Midwest’s crucial underground aquifers. And in Alberta, Canada, tar sands development (for which U.S. demand is the biggest driver), is already responsible for ruining air and water quality, devastating public health and mowing down forests. Not to mention that the intense greenhouse gas emissions produced from mining and burning tar sands crude are a huge hit to the global climate system. Indigenous groups in Alberta are some of the staunches activists against tar sands development. “As someone who has seen the terrible impacts of tar sands operations first hand, and who has been the elected chief of a community with elevated rates of cancer and contaminated water, I can understand an Oklahoman’s desire to keep her property free of this dangerous pipeline and the dirty oil it will carry,” said George Poitras, former chief of the Mikisew Cree First Nation in Alberta. In nearly ever other U.S. state the pipeline crosses, grassroots opposition has sprung up, such as Plains Justice, a group helping citizens fight TransCanda’s plans. Right now, the U.S. State Department is still considering the cross-borderpipeline and could issue a decision mid-2011. Recently, the State Department shot down a Freedom of Information Act request to would have shed light on suspicious former ties between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and TransCanada’s chief DC lobbyist (who also happens to be a former Clinton political operative). Before making a decision, environmental groups want the State Department to conduct an expanded environmental review of the project. This would expose many additional concerns glossed over in the initial review and make them glaringly apparent. We owe at least that much to families such as the White’s, who may have to give up their land in the name of TransCanada’s interest. Sign the No Tar Sands Oil Coalition’s petition to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to take a harder look at the pros and cons of allowing this project. ((18 JAN 2011))

http://www.avoid-global-warming.com/TB/?P=8498

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19
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1
https://gheorghe47.wordpress.com/2010/11/07/pipeline-fuels-controversies-over-eminent-domain-imminent-disaster/

2
https://gheorghe47.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/transcanada-keystone-pipeline-will-run-from-cushing-oklahoma-to-angelina-county-texas-to-gulf-coast/

3
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4
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5
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6
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