So I guess a new requirement we should have for our Congressmen and women, would be READING. Yes, I know….it sounds so simple, so arbitrary, but apparently most of our elected officials, lack this basic skill.
Now before everyone starts flipping out, I am for the Keystone Pipeline being built. I am for America being energy independent. I am totally for the US not giving money for oil to countries that harbor terrorist, but I am NOT for the bill proposed by the House last week to build the pipeline-why? Simply put- it can be considered unconstitutional.
It all starts with a privately owned, for profit company known as TranCanada, a company that wants to build the Keystone XL pipeline. They have actually been in the news over the past couple years, because they think they are above the law.
Many Texas landowners have claimed that they are being “bullied” into selling their property by declaring “eminent domain” authority. This is basically the power to seize land for highways and other public infrastructure projects. Over 89 land condemnation lawsuits involving TransCanada in 17 counties from the Red River to the Gulf Coast were reported in 2012. Now it’s totally fine if TransCanada, a privately owned entity, rightfully pays for land and builds on it, but operating under “eminent force”…..ummmm not so much!
The 5th Amendment of the Constitution clearly states:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Now I get under eminent domain, a third party is given the right to operate like the federal government. Lots of Republicans have gotten on the bandwagon to build-build-build!!! But, apparently they haven’t READ the Bill. The Bill exempts TransCanada, from having to abide by the rules, such as laws that require pipeline owners and operators to obtain certain government permits and approvals. Huh…..which makes me think…..just what congressmen and women are doing backdoor deals with TransCanada???
The House passed this bill, few voted against it. One congressman who voted “present,” or otherwise not voting for the bill was Justin Amash, a rep from Michigan. On his face book page he sites why:
“I support construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and holding it up for over four years (with no end in sight) for political reasons is wrong. It’s improper, however, for Congress to write a bill that names and benefits one private project, while doing nothing to address the underlying problems that allowed such delays to occur. The Constitution gives Congress the power “to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations,” but the Rule of Law requires that legislation be of general, not specific, applicability. A proper bill would address the circumstances that allow *any* such project to be held up for political reasons, not just Keystone XL.”
**In other words, the Bill is wrong to exempt certain entities.
It is insane that a FOREIGN third party operating under “eminent” domain and seizing property, not be held accountable under the bill!
I propose that our elected officials start taking reading classes! I also think it’s ridiculous to jump on board a parties agenda-Republican or Democrat, if it in any way, goes against people’s individuals rights and hits a gray line of the constitution. If property rights are taken from the people, than this is a slippery slope, resulting in individual rights being taken into question. I do not support the building of the Keystone Pipeline, until the Bill is written in accordance with the Constitution in respect to the individual’s right to property and does not exempt any third party from playing by the rules!