SOUTH DAKOTA ELECTED OFFICIALS SUPPORT GOLIATH
WHILE CITIZENS SUPPORT DAVID
Citizen Protest Against Private Foreign Companies Use of Eminent Domain
(Rapid City, SD) South Dakota elected officials including Senator Thune, Representative Noem, Governor Daugaard, and the SD Legislature continue to support TransCanada, a foreign corporation, over South Dakota landowners. Even after the Presidential permit for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline has been denied, TransCanada continues to move forward with eminent domain court proceedings against local landowners.
This Saturday, February 25, 2012 at noon, citizens of South Dakota will come together at Main Street Square in downtown Rapid City to protest TransCanada’s continued bullying of landowners and our elected officials who continue to repeat false statements about the proposed project. Citizens will speak up against their elected officials ignoring their constituents. Members of groups supporting this action include Occupy Rapid City, Dakota Rural Action, and SD Peace and Justice. We believe the Davids of our country should be represented when the Goliaths, like TransCanada, do not play fair.
While a construction project will bring short-term jobs, long-term growth for SD depends upon the health of our soil and water and the families who have spent their lives as stewards of these resources. Why would private property rights be given away to a foreign company that has not proven they can care for the land, its resources, and water?
Dakota Rural Action, a grassroots organizing non-profit, recently introduced HB 1111 into SD Legislation. This bill aims to create an even playing field for both landowners and private organizations and define a clear process for good faith negotiations where eminent domain is used as a last resort in the development of railroads and large transmission pipelines for hydrocarbons. Unfortunately, the bill failed on the House floor last week with a 35 to 35 reconsideration vote.
“According to The New York Times, the company has at least 34 eminent domain actions against landowners in Texas, and 22 in South Dakota.2 And their threats to landowners in Nebraska3 helped spark massive public opposition and a special legislative session that were key in the decision to consider a different route.” -Credo Action
South Dakota landowners have proven and earned their right to private property rights over multiple generations through their responsible stewardship. Why are we letting the Goliaths continue with condemnation proceedings on a project that offers little public benefit?
For More Information:
Clay and Mary Ellen Uptain
Occupy Rapid City
Dakota Rural Action
SD Peace & Justice
1. “KeystoneXLPipeline: TexasFarmerWinsTemporaryRestrainingOrderAgainstTransCanada,” Huffington Post, February 14, 2012
2. “EminentDomainFightHasaCanadianTwist,” New York Times, October 17th, 2011
3. “TransCanadaKeystoneXLEminentDomainThreatLetter,” Dirty Oil Sands
4. “TexansrallyagainstKeystoneXLoilpipelineeasement,” LA Times, February 17, 2012