Friday, July 18, 2014

Eminent Domain


Fracking, the tech BRT truly loves, has overrun PA, thanks to government collusion, greed and now, the increasing abuse of eminent domain on the part of Sunoco Logistics Partners, the largest fracking entity in the state.

“This is my house, it’s my safe zone; nobody’s going to bother me,” he says. “It was worth it for the peace of mind.”

But in late 2012, someone bothered the Coxes. A representative of oil and gas transporter Sunoco Logistics Partners — a “landsman” sent by the company to scout and buy access to their property — came to their front door and told them that Sunoco was going to dig a pipeline under their woods.

“And I went: ‘No you’re not,’” Cox says.

I kind of thought, ‘If we resist enough, they’re going to go away.’ But they didn’t.
Ronald Cox Pennsylvania homeowner

After he refused, a lawyer for Sunoco sent a letter that said the company had the power of eminent domain, including the right to survey their property and condemn it to build their pipeline. Sunoco hired a realty company to appraise the land, valuing the 23 acres at $352,000 and estimating the damage of constructing a pipeline at $2,700.

Representatives offered the Coxes $6,000. They said it was better to sign an agreement immediately, since the company would gain the right to the property anyway.

“I kind of thought, ‘If we resist enough, they’re going to go away.’ But they didn’t,” Cox says.

The Coxes didn’t know it then, but their dream home lay in the path of a metastasizing controversy that involves not only Sunoco’s bid for eminent domain but an attempt by the company to circumvent local zoning laws, all aimed at swiftly completing a sprawling, multi-year project to exploit a boom in the byproducts of the Marcellus Shale.

Read the article to see how people are starting to fight back against a company trying to game the system with cooperation of politicos like Tom Corbett, a leading advocate of fracking and PA's sitting govenor. Interesting to say the least.


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