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The Pantagraph reported on July 25 that 148 local landowners are fighting attempts by Enbridge Inc. to build a pipeline across farmland. The company wants the Illinois Commerce Commission to allow use of eminent domain to force landowners to accept the pipeline on their property. So far, the ICC has declined to use eminent domain as a reason to take land needed for oil and gas pipelines.
The public benefit of local farmland is threatened by Enbridge’s plans to profit from the pipeline. In 2011 farmers along the Yellowstone River in Montana lost the ability to use their farmland when Exxon’s pipeline leaked oil for just 40 minutes. A pipeline constructed beneath the river ruptured, spilling 63,000 gallons of oil.
As of 2013 and two years later, Exxon is still fighting in court to avoid paying the $1.7 million fine imposed by the EPA for the spill. While Exxon denies responsibility for the spill, claiming it had taken reasonable precautions, farmers along the Yellowstone still cannot use their land. The farmers claim the land is still not adequately cleaned up.
If you do not want to read a similar story in The Pantagraph, if you believe a farmer’s right to use the land to provide food for the public good is more important than building a pipeline that will contribute to climate change and threaten farmland, post a comment with the Illinois Commerce Commission: Docket No. 13-0446: http://www.icc.illinois.gov /docket/comment/.
Speak up and help to protect the public good.
Full story here.
Affected by the Enbridge Southern Extension Project? Attend our free seminar to learn more about your options:
Tuesday, August 27
Bloomington Public Library
205 E. Olive St.
Bloomington, IL 61702
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