Wisconsin Poised to Give Foreign Oil Pipeline Company Your Land and You Can’t Do a Thing About It

Wisconsin wants to allow this company to take your land and you won't be able to stop them.

Wisconsin wants to allow this company to take your land and you won’t be able to stop them.

Over the past four and a half years our state has been besieged by the most extreme and arguably fascist cabal of right wing politicians that the country has seen. Our fellow citizens are apparently okay with this because they keep voting the same crooked and sleazy politicians, right up to our absentee “governor” back in over and over again.

Last week, while the entire state was rightfully in an uproar over the proposed gutting of Wisconsin’s Open Records Law, something even more nefarious was being inserted into the states two year special interest giveaway also known as a “budget.” It was bad enough that the “governor” and his Koch fueled minions in the legislature were busy gutting the Open Records law, cutting wages for workers on public projects, gutting the DNR, and funneling money to religious schools, but it’s what most didn’t see that could be the most damaging and nefarious. Slipped into the “budget” late last Thursday, before a long holiday weekend that ironically celebrated “freedom,” the goons in our legislature, apparently with our “governor’s” blessing, inserted a provision that would allow a FOREIGN oil company to take YOUR land whenever they wish. Sound crazy? Sound like I am embellishing this? I wish that I were. From Wisconsin Public Radio:

Legislative drafting files show an energy firm had a hand in crafting proposed changes to the Wisconsin’s eminent domain law.

A staffer with Assembly Speaker Robin Vos’s office requested Enbridge Energy attorneys speak with drafters on a language change affecting who has power to take private property for public use.

Among proposed language changes, the provision would change the wording from “corporation” to “business entity” regarding who would be able to take private property for public use. Enbridge Energy is considered a limited partnership, which doesn’t have the same legal definition as a corporation under the law.

In an email exchange between Enbridge lobbyist Bill McCoshen and Thomas Pyper with Enbridge’s legal counsel, Pyper wrote: “The (language) change needs to be made. The (Public Service Commission) is not like a court. A finding in one contested case has no binding precedential value for another contested case.”

Pyper was referencing a prior PSC decision in a 2008 Enbridge case where the commission determined a “corporation” could be construed to mean a “business entity.” In the email, Pyper wrote that the decision “provides no certainty” to Enbridge.

As if it’s not bad enough that we have another example of lobbyists writing legislation and DEMANDING changes to existing law, this company is so arrogant that they DEMANDED that the wording be specifically tailored for their company. While the alleged “constituents” of people like Vos get ignored when contacting his office, lobbyists from a FOREIGN energy company are apparently on speed dial. Even worse it seems like Vos’ office was contacting to the company’s lobbyist directly to see how they could placate then. I would say that this is unbelievable but it’s not. Each week another story breaks about the pay to play antics of our alleged “governor” and this legislature.

While the article from WPR points out the shady dealings with the lobbyist from the company it doesn’t really get to the heart of the issue:

Elizabeth Ward, program director for the Sierra Club — John Muir Chapter, said the change would make it easier for Enbridge to obtain private property if approved by the Public Service Commission.

“It’s a policy item that has no fiscal impact, so there’s no reason for it to be in the budget unless they were trying to sneak it in there,” she said.

By “obtain” private property they mean that this company and their goons can decide that they want YOUR land for their petroleum sprinkler systems, also known as pipelines, and their isn’t a damn thing that you can do about it. The Wisconsin Gazette is much less diplomatic when describing this company and the motives behind this budget provision:

According to the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, Enbridge is guilty of more than 100 environmental violations in 14 Wisconsin counties. In 2010, the break of an Enbridge line in Michigan spewed oil for more than 17 hours before Enbridge realized it was leaking. It was the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history, with a clean-up price tag of $1.2 billion. EPA officials struggled three years to get Enbridge to clean up the impacted area, and environmentalists say the work is still incomplete.

Another item folded secretly into the 999 motion expands the state’s eminent domain law so that it virtually would allow Enbridge to seize property from any individual and use it for placing a pipeline. Although the Public Service Commission must deem such an action necessary for the public interest, environmentalists say obtaining its permission would be merely a formality in most cases, given that Walker, who appoints its commissioners, controls the PSC.

The Public Service Commission is stacked with energy industry insiders and Walker bootlickers looking for a high paying government job and lacking any real experience other than being a “good soldier.” Remember when Walker tried to give a cushy spot on this commission to disgraced former state Representative and ALEC shill Scott Suder? Then Walker appointed his boy MIke Huebsch  to the commission this year. Much like the lobbyist and killing cartel stacked Natural Resources Board the Public Service Commission is a rubber stamp for anything and everything that Walker and his special interest buddies desire. So in other words if the Koch-linked Enbridge wants your land they will get it and you won’t be able to stop them.

YOU voted for this Wisconsin. When does it become enough? Better yet when are the Feds going to come into this state and start investigating the shady dealings of Walker and his regime? They had no problem inditing and convicting former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on corruption charges that pale in comparison to what has been happening in Wisconsin for the past 5 years. When do the people demand accountability? Or is this what Wisconsin citizens want? Do they care more about mind numbing things like sports and killing animals than what amounts to a fascist takeover of our state? Apparently they do because these corrupt goons keep getting elected over and over and over again. Maybe it’s time to sharpen the pitchforks? Or is that just not important enough because football season is coming? Will it finally be time to stand up when they come for YOUR land and your wages? Or is there a college basketball game coming up that is more important?

fas·cism

faSHˌizəm/
noun
an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.
synonyms: authoritarianism, totalitarianism, dictatorship, despotism, autocracy; More
(in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice.

Now why does this ring a bell?

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One thought on “Wisconsin Poised to Give Foreign Oil Pipeline Company Your Land and You Can’t Do a Thing About It

  1. Pingback: Bear Baiting and Hounding: Wisconsin’s Culture of Cruelty in Action | Our Wisconsin, Our Wildlife

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