Saturday, February 27, 2010

Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Happiness In Moscow, Texas

Yesterday I indicated this would happen, that I'd hear from someone outside America and then feel the need to change the CARO logo. Again.

So now it's the "World To Save Carter Avenue."

Apparently, Vladimir from Moscow, Russia, follows American eminent domain abuse cases, paying particularly close attention to the Eminent Domain Abuse Capital of the World.

Tarrant County, Texas.

Ironically, Vladimir lives in the country that pretty much invented eminent domain abuse and used to be the world capital of such abuse, when it was the Soviet Union. In the Soviet Union eminent domain abuse was called Communism.

The Communists used to run roughshod over the Soviet people. If the Communists decided they wanted to drill for natural gas where you lived, they'd just remove you from your land, using some flimsy legalese, maybe throwing you in the Gulag if you did not leave your land peacefully.

If the Communists wanted to run a non-odorized natural gas pipeline under your home and you didn't want them to, tough luck, they'd go through some trumped up legal formality and build the pipeline.

If the Communists wanted to build a sewer plant next to your farm and needed some of your land, they'd throw some papers in your face, informing you that part of your land was being taken and then proceed to proceed, with no attention paid to how you were impacted.

If the Communists wanted to build a new stadium, where dozens of homes and apartment buildings sat, they'd inform the apartment dwellers and homeowners they had to get out, because the people need a stadium. And then bring in the bulldozers.

I can't imagine what it must have been like to live in the Communist former Soviet Union, where such horrible abuses occurred. I'm so grateful to be living free in America where such things can not occur, because here in America we are guaranteed, by our Constitution, that prime among our many rights is the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. And to be safe and secure on our property.

See you all in downtown Moscow, I mean, Fort Worth, Thursday morning.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was prescient in her Kelo dissent when she wrote that “the fallout from this decision will not be random . . . the government now has license to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more.”

What property owners are seeing across the country is that the notion of "public good" is corrupted in today's interpretation of eminent domain; plus the fact that there is a lot of play in the "just" of just compensation.

New York and Pennsylvania, among other states, will see more eminent domain "takings" thanks to the rising interest in natural gas drilling in the gas-rich Marcellus Shale (which has been compared to the Barnett shale in Texas. With more drilling comes more pipelines (like Ft. Worth) and more underground gas storage fields -- and that (pipelines & storage fields) always means eminent domain.

The excellent Institute for Justice (of Kelo fame) declines to intervene in energy/utility "takings" because, they told me, of the "public good" premise.

But property owners can fight back. Our two-year battle against Houston-based Spectra Energy which seized our property rights for an underground gas storage field led to the development of a website which has begun to attract whistle blowers inside the energy industry. We are collaborating and helping property owners in many states. For info, visit the site: Spectra Energy

Fort Worth is also headquarters for Range Resources -- currently the premier Marcellus Shale producer in Pennsylvania. Read about Ron Gulla, "a man on fire" -- a property owner and lease holder who is bring his fiery passion against Range. We need more Ron Gullas. Link: http://www.spectraenergywatch.com/blog/?p=522

By the way, our new neighbor, Spectra Energy, has received two Notice of Violations for "unlawful conduct" related to emergency shutdowns and emissions at its storage field in Bedford County, PA. Reports of contaminated water supplies are on the rise since they began operations.

The ripple effects of eminent domain are never over.