Imagine, one day, that a massive, foreign company decided to dig through your backyard without your permission. When you went to law enforcement to try and stop the company, they brought in big city lawyers to try to throw your rights out the window.
And, if tearing through your property weren’t enough, this company would expose you and your family to serious health risks and threaten the water and safety of your community—and potentially millions of other Americans, too. Sound like a nightmare?
That’s exactly what’s happening to me.
My name is Julia Trigg Crawford, and our family owns a farm in Direct, Texas, which we inherited from my grandfather who purchased it in 1948. A major Canadian company, TransCanada, is trying to build a pipeline to transport a highly toxic hydrocarbon (called “tar sands”) from Alberta, Canada to Texas, to refine it and then export it to foreign countries.
TransCanada is trying to seize my land by claiming it has “eminent domain” rights, which is an area of American law that allows the seizure of private property if it serves a broader societal or economic good.
You may remember that in January President Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline—but that hasn’t stopped TransCanada from trying to build it anyway. When I filed a restraining order in the Texas courts to stop them from building on my property, TransCanada filed a motion to dissolve my restraining order.
TransCanada thinks it’s above America law and refuses to honor Americans’ Constitutional right of private property. In a very real way, a foreign company is threatening the Constitutional freedom of American citizens.
Independent studies show that the TransCanada Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would not create any lasting jobs and would subject tens of millions of people to hazardous risks when the pipeline leaks—as its sister pipeline has done more than a dozen times already. This includes the drinking water of one million Midwesterners people who rely on the Ogallala Aquifer and 60 counties in Texas who rely on the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer.
Given that Americans have to put up all the risk and will reap none of the reward, the Keystone XL pipeline is certainly not serving the “greater good.”
Please stand with me against the foreign company TransCanada and their attempt to steal my private property and subject me, my family, and millions of others to the hazard and risk of a tar sands pipeline in our backyards.