TransCanada is Seizing Private U.S. Lands to Build Keystone XL Pipeline – and Republicans Don’t Care

texas-eminant-domainThere is one thing that’s almost always a constant with the Republican party – conservatives have an irrational fear of the government. Their distrust and hatred for government is really the driving force behind their unhealthy obsession with our Second Amendment. There are literally millions of conservatives in this country who have stockpiles of weapons and ammunition in preparation for a possible armed revolt or foreign invasion. These are people who honestly think movies like Red Dawn can actually happen or that their guns will be enough to defeat the most powerful military this world has ever known.

Living in Texas, I’ve been surrounded by these people all my life. Over the years, I’ve met quite a few members of the “militias” we have here in Texas who actually “train” in preparation for whatever delusions of grandeur they might have as it relates to “defeating a tyrannical government.”

Heck, just last year we nearly witnessed a full-on “militia” firefight with the Bureau of Land Management over welfare rancher Cliven Bundy’s refusal to pay grazing fees which several different court orders have ruled that he owes.

Whenever there’s a story about the government seizing land for some sort of project, or confiscating some sort of property of any kind that might be seen as unconstitutional by some, typically conservatives and the Republican party are the loudest critics opposing such actions.

So, you would think stories concerning a Canadian company using our government to come into the United States to seize land from private farmers and ranchers would be a pretty big deal to these avid anti-government advocates and small government Republicans. After all, how dare a foreign company come into this country and use our government to forcibly take land from Americans, right?

Well, unless it’s TransCanada and it relates to the Keystone XL pipeline. Suddenly these anti-government advocates and small government Republicans have no problem with the government using eminent domain to seize lands from private landowners to construct this pipeline.

For example, the case of Julia Crawford from Direct, Texas, as reported by Think Progress

Crawford, who lives in Direct, Texas, had been trying since 2011 to keep the pipeline company off her property. But she ultimately lost, the portion of her land needed for the pipeline condemned through eminent domain — a process by which government can force citizens to sell their property for “public use,” such as the building of roads, railroads, and power lines.

Amazing, isn’t it? Apparently it’s okay for various state governments to use eminent domain to seize land for a project that’s going to vastly benefit a Canadian company far more than it will anyone here in the United States, because that’s what big oil wants. And as we all know, what big oil wants, Republicans make sure big oil gets.

Could you imagine if they were doing this to build solar or wind farms? Do you think Republicans and conservatives would be so silent on the issue? Not even close. They would be irate and enraged at the “big government stealing the land of private citizens.” But because it’s oil companies who are doing this, they don’t seem to have any problem with it.

Like always, Republicans prove once again what absolute hypocrites they are. They’ll gladly build their party’s platform on the notion that they oppose “big government” – until they feel like they can use that same big government to benefit something that they want.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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