Category Archives: Energy

BigOil TransCanada Attempting to Use Eminent Domain to Get Its Way

In Nevada, nothing can get folks riled up faster than messing with their guns, their water rights, or their property rights.   It’s absolutely unconscionable that TransCanada is trying to confiscate land from American citizens for its pipeline that hasn’t yet been approved.  They’re attempting top use eminent domain to sue landowners who don’t want their dirty tar sands sludge pipeline on their property.   The arrogance of TransCanada is shocking, even for an oil company.

Even while the White House has delayed the process for assessing a required permit for the Keystone XL, TransCanada is suing landowners who won’t sell their land in its preferred pipeline path.

That path includes the 600 acre working-farm that Julia Trigg Crawford’s grandfather bought in 1948, along the southern banks of the Red River on the Texas, Oklahoma border; just East of where the Bois d’Arc Creek — which waters the farm — runs into the Red.  Even though TransCanada doesn’t have a presidential permit to build the pipeline, the company has been threatening to confiscate properties like this from people like Julia Trigg; using eminent domain if the landowners don’t immediately accept the foreign corporation’s offer to buy an easement for the path of its pipeline.

It’s wrong for TransCanada to expect landowners to accept permanent damage to their land for the Keystone XL pipeline, or possible oil spills in the rivers and creeks they rely on. It’s doubly wrong to threaten these landowners and force them to comply for a pipeline that the company doesn’t even have permission to build!

Tell TransCanada: Stop using eminent domain to confiscate private property for a pipeline that hasn’t even been approved yet.
Click here to automatically sign the petition.

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.  This is a FOREIGN corporation who will take its profits at our expense … and that is not in the public interest of the ordinary citizens of this country!

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 — in fact the White House just put a likely year-long hold on pipeline development after a massive grassroots backlash from environmentalists. But that hasn’t stopped TransCanada.

According to an article last month in The New York Times, the company has at least 34 eminent domain actions against landowners in Texas, and 22 in South Dakota.1 And their threats to landowners in Nebraska2 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.

Many landowners, like Julia Trigg, are fighting back and doing everything they can to oppose TransCanada’s land grab.

Let’s make sure that TransCanada is being called out for these reprehensible tactics, and that landowners who are taking on this foreign corporation know that we’ve got their backs.

Tell TransCanada: It’s beyond arrogant to confiscate land for a pipeline that hasn’t even been approved yet. Stop using eminent domain to sue landowners who don’t want a dirty pipeline on their property. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

GREEN ACTION: PUC Public Meeting Oct 3

Nevada is at a crossroads.

We can continue to throw money into the dirty old technology that is coal-fired power plants, or we can start investing in clean energy systems that will create 21st Century jobs that will make our communities cleaner and our families healthier.

On Monday, October 3rd the Public Utilities Commission – the entity that regulates energy production in Nevada – wants to hear which choice you would prefer. That’s when the PUC will be holding a public meeting to hear from what the public’s priorities are.

We need to send a strong message that Nevadans are tired of all the talk about clean energy development in Nevada: we want action!

Come to the Public Utilities Commission meeting October 3rd at the 1:30pm or 6:00pm in the Washoe County Commission Chambers (1001 E. 9th Street, Building A).

The PUC has the power to shape Nevada into the Saudi Arabia of clean energy. But they need to know that Nevadans are behind them.

At the meeting there will be ample opportunity to give public comment and tell the Commission what you think Nevada’s energy future should look like.

Make your voice heard at the Public Utilities Commission meeting October 3rd at the 1:30pm or 6:00pm in the Washoe County Commission Chambers (1001 E. 9th Street, Building A).

Go Green!

GOP Protects BIG Oil Subsidies, Redux

As Americans continue to struggle with outrageous, unstable gas prices, big oil continues to benefit from them. Last week, the five biggest oil companies reported a massive profits:  $30 billion in first-quarter profits, a 38% increase from last year.

Despite these astronomical profits, yesterday House Republicans voted unanimously (Roll Call 293) to block consideration of a Democratic proposal to end some of the tax breaks and subsidies we give to big oil every year.

It’s outrageous that our government continues to reward these oil giants with an additional $4 billion a year of our money in tax credits and subsidies.  Watch Rachel Maddow’s take (yesterday) on the volatile price of oil since 2000 and the GOP’s take from oil companies in terms of campaign contributions.

In a March 2011 WSJ/NBC Poll, 74% of American’s oppose these oil subsidies, and nearly 170,000 people have signed our petition asking congress to end them. Credo has a petition up on line to keep the pressure building.  [Click here to automatically sign Credo’s petition.]

It is a testament to the influence of polluters, and the power of the money they shower upon congress, that so many of our leaders have continued to defend these senseless subsidies.  As recently as this March, House Republicans — while simultaneously pleading poverty and fighting for crippling budget cuts elsewhere — voted unanimously against repealing these oil subsidies, at a total cost to taxpayers of $45 billion over 10 years.

One would think that in the face of huge budget cuts, painful gas prices and shocking oil company profits, that it might be getting harder and harder for Republicans to defend subsidies for BIG oil. Surprisingly, last week SpeakerJohn Boehner said that repealing oil subsidies “is certainly something we ought to be looking at” and that oil companies “ought to be paying their fair share.”  While his statement was quickly walked back the next day by an aide, it’s clear that cracks are beginning to show in the Republicans’ brazen defense of senseless oil handouts. Indeed, five House Republicans have now said they would support eliminating these subsidies.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi yesterday announced a Democratic proposal to repeal oil subsidies, and in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid will be unveiling a proposal next week.

Momentum is building. This is a key moment to keep the pressure on, and force every member of congress to choose: Americans, or the oil companies?  Tell Congress to end oil subsidies.

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