Monday, 20 October 2014 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG
  • The Shell Game of Contingent Employment

    When subcontractors, freelancers and independent contractors get hurt or abused on the job, these workers are finding it harder to hold employers accountable. This is no accident - it's a direct result of a neoliberal labor agenda.

  • Paying the Price of Tar Sands Expansion

    Despite all the reasons to keep tar sands in the ground, the refining equipment tax credit has helped put tar sands development in the US on the rise, accelerating climate change at the expense of US taxpayers.

A Raw Deal From TransCanada and the Texas Railroad Commission

Saturday, 29 June 2013 12:34 By Jim Hightower, Other Words | Op-Ed

Texans like Julia Trigg Crawford are rebelling against a toxic combo of ignorance and arrogance.

Arrogance is an unpleasant trait. When overlaid with ignorance, it really gets ugly.

Meet Arrogance: TransCanada Corporation. The Calgary-based $1.3 billion pipeline giant  is now demanding a U.S. permit to run its Keystone XL pipeline right down our country’s center to move toxic tar sands sludge some 1,700 miles from northern Canada to export facilities on the Texas Gulf Coast.

The environmental threat of the XL pipeline — which would cross thousands of farms, suburbs, and water sources — has been widely reported. Less widely known is the fact that this foreign corporation is crudely bullying American farm families and anyone else who dares to oppose its poisonous pursuit of profit.

Now, meet Ignorance: The Texas Railroad Commission. This state agency is already infamous for a tail-wagging acceptance of any scam put forth by the corporations it’s supposed to regulate. Texas law meekly hands the public’s power of eminent domain to certain pipeline companies, allowing them to grab people’s land, usually at a low-ball price.

To get this extraordinary power, however, the grabsters must be “common carriers,” meaning their pipelines are essentially public, available to all users. TransCanada’s line, however, exists solely for its own private gain. Clearly, it’s not qualified to use eminent domain.

Nonetheless, the high-handed Canadian outfit is using it. “Sell your property at our price,” TransCanada tells landowners, “or we’ll just take it.” How can it get away with this arrogance? Because the Texas Railroad Commission, supposedly a watchdog agency, accepts any pipeline corporation’s word that it is a “common carrier.” No questions asked.

The good news is that Texans such as Julia Trigg Crawford are rebelling against this toxic combo of ignorance and arrogance. To learn about her gutsy fight, go to www.StandWithJulia.com.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Jim Hightower

National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be - consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks.


Hide Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus
GET DAILY TRUTHOUT UPDATES

FOLLOW togtorsstottofb


A Raw Deal From TransCanada and the Texas Railroad Commission

Saturday, 29 June 2013 12:34 By Jim Hightower, Other Words | Op-Ed

Texans like Julia Trigg Crawford are rebelling against a toxic combo of ignorance and arrogance.

Arrogance is an unpleasant trait. When overlaid with ignorance, it really gets ugly.

Meet Arrogance: TransCanada Corporation. The Calgary-based $1.3 billion pipeline giant  is now demanding a U.S. permit to run its Keystone XL pipeline right down our country’s center to move toxic tar sands sludge some 1,700 miles from northern Canada to export facilities on the Texas Gulf Coast.

The environmental threat of the XL pipeline — which would cross thousands of farms, suburbs, and water sources — has been widely reported. Less widely known is the fact that this foreign corporation is crudely bullying American farm families and anyone else who dares to oppose its poisonous pursuit of profit.

Now, meet Ignorance: The Texas Railroad Commission. This state agency is already infamous for a tail-wagging acceptance of any scam put forth by the corporations it’s supposed to regulate. Texas law meekly hands the public’s power of eminent domain to certain pipeline companies, allowing them to grab people’s land, usually at a low-ball price.

To get this extraordinary power, however, the grabsters must be “common carriers,” meaning their pipelines are essentially public, available to all users. TransCanada’s line, however, exists solely for its own private gain. Clearly, it’s not qualified to use eminent domain.

Nonetheless, the high-handed Canadian outfit is using it. “Sell your property at our price,” TransCanada tells landowners, “or we’ll just take it.” How can it get away with this arrogance? Because the Texas Railroad Commission, supposedly a watchdog agency, accepts any pipeline corporation’s word that it is a “common carrier.” No questions asked.

The good news is that Texans such as Julia Trigg Crawford are rebelling against this toxic combo of ignorance and arrogance. To learn about her gutsy fight, go to www.StandWithJulia.com.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Jim Hightower

National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be - consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks.


Hide Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus