Saturday, November 7, 2015
Obama Opposes Keystone XL—And So Do I!
President Barack Obama recently voiced his disapproval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which caused many Republicans to howl their disapproval of his disapproval.
However, Obama isn’t the only one to oppose the pipeline. I oppose it as well, along with many other libertarians. In fact, it’s one of the rare instances when libertarians take sides with environmentalists.
Why? Two words: Eleanor Fairchild.
Who is she? She’s a 78-year-old grandmother from Texas who was tased, pepper-sprayed, and arrested.
Why? Because she was trespassing—on her own property!
How? Because all 100 acres of her property were seized from her by her state government and awarded to TransCanada, the corporation planning the pipeline.
How was the government able to do this? Two more words: eminent domain.
Eminent domain is when the government seizes private property from property owners in order to be used for “public use.” Normally, this “public use” has been limited to building a public road or school.
However, back in 2005, the very definition of “public use” changed with the Kelo vs. New London Supreme Court decision, which stated that “public use” could also include transferring property to corporations for the sake of “economic development.” (i.e. “stimulating teh economy by creating jerbs!”)
The very Supreme Court cased involved 90 acres of land, which included 115 privately-owned properties—15 of which whose property owners had initially refused to sell, but were inevitably forced to by the court’s decision.
That 90-acres of land was intended to be used by Pfizer for a “comprehensive redevelopment plan” to build a plant that would “create jerbs” and thus “stimulate teh economy.” Ten years later? That property remains an empty lot.
Now, this bastardized version of “eminent domain” is being used to help build the Keystone Pipeline. Eleanor Fairchild has been but one of its victims. Roughly 56 eminent domain actions have since been brought against private landowners—34 in Texas, and 22 in South Dakota—all so that a Canadian corporation can build a pipeline that has been projected to create a whopping 35 permanent jobs!
Let me repeat that again: American landowners are having their private property taken away from them by force (which occasionally involves tasers and pepper spray) and handed over to a foreign corporation. If this is not a blatant attack against private property rights and American sovereignty, then I don’t know what the f*** is!
So, yes, when you have the entire Republican Party (with the exception of one) who claim to support property rights and free-market capitalism while cheerleading government trampling upon private property for the sake of corporate cronies—well, that makes them look mighty hypocritical!
(I’m especially looking at you, Donald Trump! You’re not fooling anyone by claiming that you think libertarianism “has good ideas” when you support one of the most egregious antithesis of those ideas.)
So to any of my more conservative and libertarian followers, if you truly believe that all human rights stem from private property rights—that a man truly cannot own himself if he is not allowed to own the fruit of his own labor, that being his property—then you must stand with Obama against this very encroachment of property rights and oppose this pipeline!