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Fifty Six Reasons for Libertarians to Oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline

Fifty Six Reasons for Libertarians to Oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline
Profile photo of Mark Stobnicki

By its own count, the company currently has 34 eminent domain actions against landowners in Texas and an additional 22 in South Dakota.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/18/us/transcanada-in-eminent-domain-fight-over-pipeline.html?pagewanted=all

Someone recently showed me a link to this video.

As is said around half a minute it, libertarianism is a defence of free markets, among other things, not big business. Libertarians always need to be stressing this point. There is a lot of confusion around it – and I suspect libertarians are somewhat guilty for that confusion. A contemporary example where libertarians can apply our beliefs is to the Keystone XL pipeline. We often point out the fact that alternative energy industries such as wind and solar receive government subsidies. That is true. But this applies just as much to oil and gas.

TransCanada Corporation maintains that its pipeline is privately funded.

That may be true, but it doesn’t quite cut it when you are suing 56 property owners for eminent domain. As Jonathan Mariano at TriplePundit puts it, eminent domain is akin to a government subsidy for a corporation.  Technically, no money is being taken from taxpayers and given to a private corporation as a subsidy. However, the use of eminent domain shares characteristics of a government corporate subsidy.

TransCanada needs to negotiate with every landowner for an easement. Daniel Plainview style. Landowners may charge high prices, but that is simply the cost of doing business.

 

 

  • Guest

    Exactly … market rates must dominate easement rights, not a corrupt Supreme Court decision. And besides, why should the US government drive the beneficial seizure of property for a foreign business entity?

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Profile photo of Mark Stobnicki

Mark enjoys studying history, libertarianism, and spending time outdoors. He would love to be able to travel and spend time with good people. He welcomes all comments, criticisms, and questions.

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