Eminent domain is a tool used by state and federal government to take property that belongs to private landowners. It is supposedly done for a greater public good, like building a much-needed railroad, or a critical highway. Now, it seems that building a natural gas pipeline is also a reason to take people’s property.
Natural gas is billed as “clean energy” and while its emissions are far less than those of coal, it is not clean and it impacts our environment. The push to build pipelines across this nation is lead by the natural gas industry. They are not only looking to source more gas for this nation’s energy needs but for other countries as well. So the push to grab land from American homeowner’s is not for a greater public good, but rather for gain. A gain for the natural gas industry.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is the agency that monitors and approves these pipelines is filled with people who come from the natural gas industry.
According to NPR,
Only twice in the past 30 years has FERC rejected a pipeline out of hundreds proposed, according to an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and StateImpact Pennsylvania, a public media partnership between NPR member stations WITF in Harrisburg and WHYY in Philadelphia. At best, FERC officials superficially probe projects’ ramifications for the changing climate, despite persistent calls by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for deeper analyses. FERC’s assessments of need are based largely on company filings. That’s not likely to change with a pro-infrastructure president who can now fill four open seats on the five-member commission.
Once agai,n it’s profit over people. These industries promise jobs and suggest that there is a rigorous process for approval. But that process does not include a study of the environmental impact of the pipelines, and the jobs promised often don’t ever materialize to match the expectations. People are thrown off their land or have to live with the impact of a pipeline just feet from their front door. Nothing about this is for the greater good, just the greater greed.