Companies that include Williams Partners backing the Constitution Pipeline connecting New York to New England used eminent domain to acquire access to properties against the owners’ wishes.

U.S. District Judge Malachy Mannion ruled that the Constitution Pipeline has the necessary permits from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and that it serves the public interest by providing additional natural gas pipeline capacity…

The companies sought access to 130 properties in Pennsylvania and filed condemnation proceedings on 20. Agreements were reached with the other 13 before a judge ruled, Stockton said.

Williams is the same company backing the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline that will connect the proposed Jordan Cove LNG export terminal to fracked gas fields in the Rocky Mountain states and Canada.  The company will use the same condemnation proceedings to violate the property rights of local landowners unless we stand up to state and federal authority and assert our community rights.

Interestingly, while we have long been trained to believe that the state has authority over municipalities and that the federal government has authority over states, the states may soon be forced to challenge that premise and defend their sovereignty against the federal government.  A Kansas politician is planning on introducing a bill that will preempt state authority to determine GMO labeling. Most genetically modified foods are engineered to withstand herbicides like glyphosate, (now proven to cause cancer), and most responsible parents want to know if they are feeding their children food saturated with RoundUp.

The bill is not unlike a law passed by the legislature in Oregon and  co-sponsred by State Senators Arnie Roblan and Jeff Kruse preempting local authority over GMOs in Oregon. Both bills favor the “rights” of Monsanto over citizens’ rights and the federal bill would overturn laws passed in Vermont and Maine requiring product labeling unless the states fight back.

Governments exist to protect the rights and safety of the citizens that formed them. When the government fails to protect us, instead protecting corporate interests, then those governments become illegitimate and it is our right and responsibility fix it. Asserting our right to local self-government by establishing a countywide bill of rights is a powerful way to fight back against elected officials that lose sight of their responsibility to the people.

Support The Coos County Right to a Sustainable Energy Future Ordinance.