Monday, February 12, 2018

Farmers Along Proposed Pipeline Route Fight Eminent Domain



Source: NJTV News

Another day another story illustrating that property rights don’t really exist in our supposedly freedom loving ultra capitalist country. Apparently freedom means some businesses are free to steal property from other businesses at gunpoint as long as it generates more revenue for the state.

The PennEast Pipeline Co. has filed 92 eminent domain lawsuits against landowners in New Jersey in conjunction with the construction of a 120 mile natural gas pipeline that runs from the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania to Mercer County, New Jersey. The inevitable victims of the proposed robbery include Jacqueline Evans, who co-owns Haut Farm in Stockton, NJ, and her neighbors T.C. and Joe Buchanan, who own an adjacent orchard.

Jacqueline Evans has been running her farm for over five years, but she says she’s at risk of losing everything. “We love our home, we don’t want to leave, and this is wrong. It’s for an unneeded pipeline,” she said.

All of those trespassing surveyors that have been on our property, Michigan, New York, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Florida, their license plates were from all over the place. Nobody was from New Jersey,” said T.C. Buchanan. “The unions are saying, we're going to get jobs. If there are any jobs, it’s going to be temporary. They said it’s seven weeks to seven months maximum for workers, and in the meantime, they put all the farms out of business.

Did I mention this will be an armed robbery? The pipeline company received approval from the FERC in January, but have yet to obtain the requisite rubber stamps from the Delaware River Basin Commission and New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection. Despite lacking the necessary permits, PennEast Pipeline Co. has already requested the assistance of U.S. Marshals to maul any landowners who might resist the proposed robbery.

“They’re also filing on the ability to use U.S. Marshals and force against us if we resist,” said Evans. “I don’t understand why they need to have U.S. Marshals with guns. I have little kids, they’ve been traumatized by this enough, so that took my breath away that they would do that, but it falls in line with how they’ve treated us all along.”

With Trump in the oval office this will undoubtedly go through and be hailed as progress by his braindead supporters. Apparently, progress is setting precedents that weaken property rights and concede more power to the state and favored corporations.