Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

Maple syrup trees cut to make way for the Constitution Pipeline

.Megan Holleran stands by a sign on her family's land. The Hollerans lost their court battle to save their maple trees from eminent domain seizure. The trees are being cut to make way for the new Constitution Pipeline.

Jon Hurdle / StateImpact PA

Megan Holleran stands by a sign on her family's land. The Hollerans lost their court battle to save their maple trees from eminent domain seizure. The trees are being cut to make way for the new Constitution Pipeline.

Megan Holleran lost the latest round of her long-running battle with the natural gas industry on Tuesday when men with chain saws began to fell trees on her family’s property to make way for an interstate pipeline.

The felling crew took down about one and a half acres of trees on the 23-acre Susquehanna County lot, and were expected to cut about the same amount again Wednesday in preparation for construction of the 124-mile Constitution Pipeline that would carry natural gas from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale into New York State.

When the clearance is complete, it will have stripped about 90 percent of the trees from which Holleran and her family harvest maple syrup in a commercial operation that is now destroyed, she said.

The pipeline’s builders, led by the Williams Companies, won court permission about a year ago to take some of the family’s land under eminent domain, a legal mechanism that is being pursued by other pipeline companies as they begin a massive build-out of Pennsylvania’s natural gas pipeline infrastructure.

Landowners like the Hollerans are rejecting offers of compensation by pipeline builders who in some cases are going to court to seek eminent domain over the land.

Holleran said her family, which has owned the property since the 1950s, has urged Williams to find a different route for the pipeline, perhaps even burying it underground, since it was first proposed about five years ago, but that Williams has insisted on the current route.

Tom Droege, a spokesman for Williams, said the company has made changes to “more than half” of the route, including the Hollerans’ property, as a result of feedback from stakeholders.

At the Holleran property, the company moved the route to the western edge in order to “confine impacts,” he said. The company also considered a request from the family to move the line to an adjacent property to the west but that would have involved crossing a quarry which would have created “constructability challenges,” Droege said.

Holleran accused Williams of abusing eminent domain on the grounds that the gas to be carried by the new pipeline would be exported to Canada and Europe and so could not be for the public benefit.

An armed U.S. marshall on his way to accompany two tree cutters at the Holleran property on Tuesday, March 1 2016.

Jon Hurdle / StateImpact PA

An armed U.S. Marshall on his way to accompany two tree cutters at the Holleran property on Tuesday, March 1 2016. The Williams Company says a federal judge ordered the heavy police presence.

“Eminent domain is supposed to work to benefit the people it’s impacting, and we will not benefit from this pipeline,” Holleran told StateImpact, as chain saws roared and trees fell a few hundred yards away. “The usage of eminent domain in this case to take land from people who didn’t want to give it to them is more of an abuse of the power.”

Droege argued that the Constitution Pipeline, the first to directly link the Marcellus Shale with markets in New York and New England, was determined to be in the public interest by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission after an extensive regulatory review.

“The project is designed to connect natural gas supplies to communities in the northeastern U.S. so they can enjoy the benefits of this cost-effective resource by next winter,” he said.

At the isolated property in New Milford Township about 30 miles north of Scranton, Holleran and her family were joined by about 20 protestors who were ordered by a federal judge to stay at least 150 feet away from a right-of-way where the felling crew was working. Protestors painted American flags on the trunks of some trees amid handwritten signs such as “No Eminent Domain for Corporate Gain” and “Sap Lines Not Pipelines.”

The tree crew was accompanied by at least three U.S. Marshals who were armed with semi-automatic weapons and pistols, and who wore bulletproof vests.

Holleran, whose aunt and uncle live a few hundred feet from where the trees were cut, said the presence of heavily armed men on her property during the tree cutting was a heavy-handed gesture which undermines Williams’s claim that it treats landowners fairly.

“Williams must be a lot more terrified of my words that I have given them reason to be,” she said. “It shows just how unreasonable they can be; I don’t think that bringing in half a dozen marshals with bullet-proof vests and assault weapons is treating landowners fairly.”

Droege, the Williams spokesman, said the decision to have armed marshals at the site was made by a federal judge, and not by the company. “The top priority is ensuring these activities are conducted safely and efficiently,” he wrote in an email.

Fallen trees on the Holleran property after cutting on Tuesday. The trees were cut to make way for the Constitution Pipeline project.

Jon Hurdle / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Fallen trees on the Holleran property after cutting on Tuesday. The trees were cut to make way for the Constitution Pipeline project.

The protesters included Elliott Adams, a forester from Sharon Springs, NY, who lives near the proposed pipeline route in that state, and said he had come to support the Hollerans because he said the eminent domain law has been misused in their case.

“They took land by eminent domain which is meant to be for the public good we know that exportation of gas is not for the public good,” Adams said.

He said New York State has not issued all necessary permits for the pipeline, and that he would continue to urge Gov. Andrew Cuomo to withhold final permitting.

On Feb. 10, a tree-cutting crew arrived at the property, accompanied by Pennsylvania state troopers, but left without starting work after the police said they did not have the authority to enforce a felling operation.

The work was then restarted by a federal judge in Scranton who authorized law-enforcement officers to arrest anyone who tried to stop the tree cutting, and said that anyone who did so could be held in contempt of court.

Holleran said the company had made “several” offers of compensation for the value of the wood rather than for the business that she said is being destroyed by the tree removal. But the family is not interested in any compensation because it wants to be able to enjoy its land as it has done for three generations.

“We would reject any offer,” she said. “We have been very clear from the beginning that we don’t want this pipeline on our land. They are destroying my home. You can’t put this in terms of money; there is no compensation for this.”

Comments

  • alan white

    How would it be to run these pipelines down the middle of interstate highways since the highways presumable run directly between population centers?

  • konan

    The Marshals carrying assault weapons to a protest site where no violence has been threatened, no weapons were ever borne by the protesters, or violence incited, is more revealing about the mind of the Marshals than the mind of the protesters.

    It almost seems that when planning their (the Marshals) response, they considered how they themselves would react if someone were to take their own property against their will and decided that their own response would warrant the need for themselves as marshals to be carrying assault weapons.

    Given the lack of previous external justification for this heavy handed action, one can only assume it came from somewhere internal.

    That’s your own mentality marshals, please don’t project it onto the peaceful, law abiding landowners.

    Did you really think this young lady was such a threat that you couldn’t neutralize her with your sidearm ?

    So sad to witness this threatening behavior against your fellow Americans.

    Defend the Constitution, as you swore to do in the oath you took, lay down your arms.

    5th amendment “no property shall be taken except for the public use and with just compensation.” Seems 2 of the requirements are missing in the immediate case.

    • Ken

      “public use” = “public benefit”. Consider that EVERY road, sidewalk, water line, oil line, gas line came about through the eminent domain process. Likewise virtually every school building, public park, playing field, stadium & boat launch, air port and habor were procured under eminent domain. The electric that powered your computer today came through a grid system on a right of way procured under eminent domain decades ago. My family was the “victim” of eminent domain 30 years ago when part of the family farm was taken for a public golf course.

  • BillA

    I had heard that the path cut was 150 feet wide. For a single 30 inch pipeline ? I think the wide cut is just for the construction company’s benefit to make the install quicker. When I was a kid the power company needed to put in a new high voltage line near to where I lived. They only cut a 30 foot or so path. They brought in a large dredging tool that cut a 20 inch or so cut, which was about 8 feet deep. It only took them a few days to cut the trees, make the cut and lay the cable.

    • LSDial

      it is a little more involved, the line is 30 or 36 inch diameter. the trench must be 7 or 8 feet wide at the bottom and depending on the type of soil the top of the trench may have to be much wider. the trench is probably about 8 feet deep so the top of the pipe will be at least 3 feet underground. the spoil pile and the top soil must be segregated and stacked alongside the trench. they also need enough room to lay out the pipe and for the equipment beside the trench.100-120 feet is pretty common.
      I am a little surprised that all of the trees are in the 150 wide strip that is causing so much trouble and the company should compensate them for the lost business.

      • disqus_4QILcqf28h

        Agree on the compensation, but that does not appear to
        be the problem. To quote Henry Kissinger, “reasonable
        people can always come to a reasonable agreement.”
        It appears the Hollerands’s, for their own reasons, chose
        to not agree.

  • konan

    Ironic that the Marshals, by being so heavily armed, seems to imply criminal behavior which may need a lethal reaction to negate. Here’s some seemingly criminal action for you Marshals. I don’t think the Hollerans have ever been sued using the RICO “Racketeering Influenced Criminal Organization” act as is one of the drilling companies and a midstream pipeline company now owned by Williams.

    Are you sure you’re on the right side here ?
    http://pennrecord.com/stories/510554477-landowners-file-rico-suit-against-drilling-companies-for-alleged-underpaid-royalties

  • williamftaylor

    Unfortunate but necessary. Sometimes the greater good has to prevail over property rights. I assume they have been compensated adequaly.

    • HBa.

      Did you even read the article. company offered money for the wood value of the maple trees not the commercial value of maple syrup production

      • williamftaylor

        Perhaps the value of the wood was greater than the value of the syrup. After processing and sales costs the money paid would be greater than maintenance and labor costs of maintaining the trees and harvesting the syrup.

        • snodog

          The wood from the trees can be sold once, and lumber from sugar maple trees is not exactly in demand.
          The maple syrup from the trees can be sold for years and goes for ~$60 a gallon. They destroyed the business and won’t compensate them for the loss, not to mention the loss in property value. Nope Chesapeake wanted the cheapest route in order to make the most profit.

          • williamftaylor

            A tree produces at best one half a gallon of syrup per year. That is 30 bucks worth but you have to deduct the production and all other cost fro that so you might get $ 15 bucks from that tree. In ten years that would be $ 150 bucks. Let!s suppose they got paid 200 bucks for each tree. Invested at five percent that would be ten bucks a year…so they would be down five bucks a year per tree with no additional costs or effort. If they got 400 bucks a tree the would make more money than from all the time and effort of producing the syrup. I have no idea if my examples are accurate but you get the drift…….it just is not as bad as it is made out t be.

        • HBa.

          Not to the land owners. Why would it matter it is an abuse of eminent domain for a private corporation to take land for private profit. Thank conservatives and their idea of smaller government, works for them only when it suits their agenda.

  • Dude

    When the disagreement has gone this far as to improperly use eminent domain, the pipeline company is purposely not using its best (albeit most expensive) technique to solve the impasse. It’s called directional drilling. The pipeline can be horizontally drilled hundreds of feet below the ground and would not disturb one stick on the ground surface, with the exception of a few exploration borings to evaluate the underlying bedrock to design the directional drilling operation.

    • Reservoir Engineer-Enhanced Oi

      I’ve never in a hundreds years heard of someone directionally drilling a 30 inch hole.

      That would cost like 50x what this costs.

      • Dude

        Well, I just got finished a two year project drilling geotechnical holes for a 36 gas pipeline across several states. The directional hole will be 48 inches in diameter and they will pull the 36 through it with a mandrel head . They are drilling under all river valleys and major highways….and difficult properties such as the subject here. Each directional drill will be somewhere between 1.5 miles and 5 miles in length to reach areas where traditional cut and cover methods will be used. Per lineal foot costs run between $800 and $1800 a foot depending upon depth and rock type and geologic difficulties.

        • Reservoir Engineer-Enhanced Oi

          Wow, you really got me there!

          I’m in upstream O&G and the only directional drills I’ve seen are top drive directional drilling rigs which cost tens of thousands of dollar a day to contract out.

          Or small directional drills (more like slant) that you see municipal crews using.

          I never knew they did pipelines like this, what’s this called exactly? It’s not a mini TBM is it ?

          • Dude

            The most frequently used term is HDD or Horizontal Directional Drilling. ISome now call it HDB with new advancements. It’s kinda like mini TBM, but they use a directional, steerable drill head that they can pinpoint locate from the surface with a wire locator. The driller controls it at the insertion pit and takes directions from the field locator that tells the driller how deep and exactly where the drill head is. They pump a pressurized mixed of drilling mud/bentonite (up to about 700 psi at times) into the insertion end and it flows to the cutter head and flushes the cuttings back to the insertion end where the mud is filtered and repumped into the hole. The tech is relatively new from a pipeline standpoint. It has really taken off in the last 10 years. I am and engineering geologist working in the private market on the design end and rarely get to see the actual drilling process. My clients are the pipeline engineering firms. They have about five core drilling contractors and they keep getting better and cheaper. I found a few video link for you.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zr6pgRv6RDo

  • Duane Weaver

    I assume that none of the protesters have ever used a public highway, or park or government building, many of which acquired the land from the public via eminent domain. Furthermore, it is highly unlikely any of that gas will be exported to Canada or Europe. The pipeline is routing the gas to New England, were there is a shortage of gas and demand is growing rapidly. Unless I am confused New England is in neither Canada or Europe. Also, Canada already exports gas to New England.

    • HBa.

      I am sure you would feel the same way if it ran though your property. Duane

    • Bob Lafreniere

      @Duane Weaver, building a highway is for the benefit of the public. Exactly what eminent domain is supposed to be used for, not to benefit a private entity.

      • Duane Weaver

        Bob, you don’t think a gas pipeline benefits the public? The gas pipeline delivers gas to New England utilities to produce electric. The gas is also delivered to homes, businesses, schools, government buildings and hospitals. How is that not benefiting the public?

    • Rich Garella

      There are good reasons for eminent domain. There are also good reasons the Fifth Amendment defines eminent domain as for “public use.” If this were public use, it would be a publicly owned pipeline and there would be a public debate and a democratic decision on whether we want it. In fact, this is for private profit. It’s a direct subsidy to the Williams Co at the expense of the Hollerans and other families on the pipeline route.

      • Duane Weaver

        There are no government owned pipelines. But your vote for Socialist Bernie might change that with the government taking over the pipelines. Then the government can use eminent domain to build another needed pipeline is that makes you happy.

    • Carol Hammond

      after the NED ends in Dracut, MA…it’s joined into other lines that go to storage terminals further north…(Nova Scotia for one). They have yet to prove there is an actual shortage in MA

      • Duane Weaver

        The cost of gas skyrocketed in New England last winter despite the fact that they was ample supply and very low prices in the rest of the country. Most homes and businesses in NE use fuel oil but many are converting over to gas which is pushing up demand. Plus a nuclear power plant was closed in Vermont recently and many electric utilities are converting over to gas as well. The lines from Canada to NE are lines that supply gas to NE. Those lines flow from north to south.

  • Steven Dallas

    Sick, sick, sick abuse of power.

  • franwatson

    Eminent domain use by corporations should be illegal!

    • snodog

      I agree, this should have been appealed to the supreme court. Eminent Domain is meant for use by the government not corporations.

      Wonder how all the people who say this was right would feel if Wal Mart took their property for a parking lot using the same tactic?

      • rahvin

        Government can delegate the use of Eminent domain. The pipeline is in the public interest, regardless if a portion of the gas will be used for export I expect that a good portion will be used in the NE as homeowners convert from old oil based boilers to NG. NG is way cheaper than heating oil, it’s cleaner and just all around better in just about every way. In 20 years hopefully no one will even be using heating oil in the NE.

        The NorthEast is one of those areas where gas supplies have never penetrated because all the major supplies were in the west or south. This pipeline will change that. It’s a travesty that people are still using diesel (heating oil) to heat their homes. Gas doesn’t shut down if there is an ice storm where oil can’t be delivered.

        • snodog

          So because New England needs gas someone in Pennsylvania should lose their business with little to no compensation. I have an idea how about the folks it’s benefitting pay for the losses to income and property value this person is suffering.

          How about this since it’s in the public interest the gas is sold at cost and never allowed to be exported.

        • Blah

          hate to say it, but i agree. In most cases i would say private companies should never be able to take private land under ED, but given your point about the national benefits of NG versus oil, id have to say this qualifies.

          the main point would be compensation, it would have to be pretty substantial due to the removal of an annual revenue producing asset

          • Tim

            It’s not substantial. The Hollerans have not received a dime yet and the trees are cut down. That is in violation of their 5th amendment rights. The pipeline through NY isn’t even a sure thing and yet the feds gave permission to cut down the trees in PA. Discover the whole truth. Because of all the leakage NG is as bad as coal regarding harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

          • Rich Garella

            If it is a national benefit, then a private company should not be the beneficiary. It should be a public project and we should debate its merits publicly, and then decide if individuals’ land should be taken *by the public for public use* through eminent domain. Those who decide should be accountable to the public. “Public use” is the line that the 5th Amendment drew quite clearly and that the courts have watered down to near meaninglessness.

          • nanaof3

            Right. Eminent domain should only be used for publicly owned projects, never private. Sadly, the trees are gone now. Think they can be glued back together if the pipeline isn’t built? Guess again.

          • rkean

            Benefits of NG are way over-rated except for those who profit from its sale. And as pointed out above it will likely be exported. Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers, and people in all states, not to mention our Mother, Earth, are being exploited for private fossil fuel profits going to the 1%.

        • Tim

          Find out the truth very little if any gas will stay here. It’s going overseas. Wake up or you’re next!

        • willigan

          Don’t “expect” anything. I expect the majority of this gas is just passing through to be exported for profit. We will fight until we get this pipeline stopped

      • maxsdad

        If Walmart can provide 200 jobs, $10m in tax revenue, and $50m in annual economic benefits by taking my 20 acres of dirt, wouldn’t the betterment of society outweigh MY needs? Use your head before you comment, snotdog.

        • Jack McIntosh

          No. That was easy.

        • Rich Garella

          Walmart, like Williams, is a company seeking a profit. If it wants some land it should negotiate with the current owners and see if there’s a price the two sides agree on.
          By your logic the government should seize any land on behalf of any privately owned corporation that wants it, as long as it can show it would generate any jobs or tax revenue. You are arguing for the merger of government and corporations against the people. In fact, that is what is happening — but you are for it and I’m against it.

          • Duane Weaver

            Rich, I bet the electric that powers your computer came from electric utility lines. I also bet that they needed to acquire land to lay those lines and some of those people who’s land was acquired weren’t interested in selling but had to so you and your community could run your computers, televisions, dishwashers, lights and the local hospital could have power along with the schools and government buildings. Some times a few have to give up something for compensation to that the many can benefit.

          • Rich Garella

            Obviously that is true, but all cases are not the same. In this case — and an increasing number of cases — the few will benefit a lot more than the many. The few being Williams and co., who are not a public utility let alone a public entity. Eminent domain is being enforced by the federal government, which in this case has put its full force to work on behalf of corporate interests.

          • Duane Weaver

            Actually, many in New England will benefit from the few along the pipeline that are force to accept the pipeline purchasing the right of way. The landowners along the line aren’t losing their land. They are losing the right of way under the land. A trench will be dug, the pipe will be laid, then the hole is covered up and land returned to the owner.

          • Rich Garella

            Returned without the maple trees, which can’t be regrown over a pipeline. Nor can their children build homes over a pipeline on their family land. So it is not just under the land, but what is on top of it, and what you can do on top of it.
            Meanwhile, do you truly expect anyone to believe that Williams, Cabot etc are doing this out of generosity toward the good people of New England? There is nothing to make them or their resellers reduce the price of gas to customers by even a penny. The companies are in business to maximize profit, no other reason — which in itself is fine.
            But that is why eminent domain is inappropriate in this case. The companies should have to negotiate for the land they want, like everybody else does, not have the federal government take it from its owners, who will later have to battle in court for a “fair market price” against high-powered lawyers, over a “sale” that took place at gunpoint.

          • Duane Weaver

            You are absolutely correct, there are limitation as to what they can do on the land with the right of way. I strongly suspect that you and they like living in the 21st century. Utility lines are necessary for living life in the 21st century, or the 20th century for that matter. You are pissed off that the owner of the pipeline is going to make a profit off their investment. However, would that family be any better off if the pipeline was owned by the government and the government acquired the right of way through eminent domain? As Hillary Clinton would say, “what difference does it make.”
            I feel for the family that is their land and they did not want to sell it. I don’t live that far from where they are, so I know that that entire area is almost completely covered by forest. They clearly and take the money they received and buy more land with maple trees.
            I have a hypothetical proposition for you. Say magically I could reroute the gas line off their property but I could only do that if that family and YOU agree to disconnect from all utility lines (gas, electric, water, sewer, cable, internet, telephone, and cell phone) for the rest of your lives, would you take that offer? I ask that question because of all the utility services you receive, likely some people had to involuntarily give up their right to their property to that you and others could receive that service.

          • Rich Garella

            I wouldn’t be ‘pissed off’ if the pipeline owners made a profit off their investment. However here they plan to make a profit off of an investment partially stolen from other people. Legally stolen, under a corrupted interpretation of the Constitution, but nonetheless stolen.
            I actually agree with your point about whether the family would be better off if the pipeline were owned by the government. You’re right — not really. However at least the profit would not all be going into private pockets, and if the government did it directly the public might have more input, as there would probably have to be legislation, etc to do it. At least in theory, if this a democracy.
            Your hypothetical proposition however, is not only irrelevant, but plain silly. I think you’re smart enough to know that, and I’m sure most of the other readers here are. If any are left.

          • popeye

            @rich – YOU miss the obvious, like most libs. “at least the profit would not all be going into private pockets”

            ITS called taxes! Where do YOU think the feds get EVERY penny they spend? With one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world, Williams WILL be sharing up to 40% with uncle sam.

            That is why even a lib moron like Obozo is approving nat gas & oil exports…duh. It brings cash to the US (helps trade deficit), which helps exchange rates, helps US companies expand providing jobs, AND uncle sam makes money. That is called a GROWING ECONOMY. (again higher tax revenue)

            With the 10 trillion in new Obozo debt, its nice to see even moron libs think about growing the economy instead of unemployment and welfare.

          • Duane Weaver

            I should extent that hypothetical proposition even further to the point that you and that family can’t buy, use or acquire any product or service that uses utility lines. So that means to can’t go to the movie, you can’t travel, you own or use a car, you can’t buy anything from any store. Essentially you have to go back to live like you are in the 18th century. Good luck with that.

          • Tim

            Duane Rich uses the electric in those power lines. This gas is going to export facilities to be shipped overseas. Big difference

          • popeye

            @Duane – your dealing with morons that drive on public roads, use electricity, airports, and NAT GAS.

            PLEASE do not cut down a few acres of maple trees… That can be planted ANYWHERE!

          • rkean

            But that is not the case in this situation. The few will benefit and the many, including the family whose land was taken, will suffer.

        • snodog

          And if you livelihood depended on that land you’d still be fine with it I suppose.

          And this gas line isn’t providing any jobs. No all it’s providing is profits for a company.

          • Blah

            the people cutting trees, laying pipe, maintaining pipe, work for free?

          • popeye

            @Blah – your dealing with morons. They “feel” for the trees.

          • rkean

            Name calling and gratuitous put downs don’t help the discussion. NG is not better than coal and oil despite all the PR from the gas industry. Pipelines leak methane, worse than CO2. Climate change is real. Taking peoples’ property and destroying their livelihood, even before the pipeline is approved, is a sign of corporate-government collusion against the average citizen for something that is not in the public interest.

          • popeye

            Rkean – not name calling. When you are dumb as brick, like most libs it is discriptive.

        • tony

          Not sure if I would use WalMart employment, and products as an example as society improvement. First off any areas that Walmarts settles into the little Mom and Pop stores close up. Guess they can’t compete with WalMart’s inferior products. In the long when it comes down to it, companies like Walmart and our need to consume, and consume more without making any lifestyle changes is going to be our undoing and demise.

          • popeye

            WHAT was so great about mom & pop stores?? They paid minimum wage, offered no chance for advancement, no healthcare, no college reimbursement AND they charged FAR MORE than Walmart hurting everyone in the community.

            Also long before Walmart the five & dime stores hurt ma & pa’s, then department stores, then Sears and Wards…….and now Walmart is hurting from dollar stores and small format Aldi stores……

            Its called competition and the WILL of the people voting everyday with their dollars. (Sam Walton started with ONE five & dime.

          • nanaof3

            Workers at Mom & Pop stores have not mroutinely needed food stamps & Medicaid to stay alive. Small businesses oten pay better than big chains like Walmart None of the other things you name are offered by Walmart, either, but sometimes are by small businesses. Prices hurting everyone in the community? Duh, the money stays IN the community & creates other jobs, whereas big chains drain money out of the community. Wake up & SMELL THE SEPTIC TANK!

      • digitrack

        The government backed this pipeline. Just so you know.

        • rkean

          The corporate-controlled government, that is.

    • Reservoir Engineer-Enhanced Oi

      Not really.

      Full disclosure, I’m in O&G.

      Pipelines fall under infrastructure. So they are still very well within the limits of eminent domain.

      Look, every piece of land in the US is owned by someone. Some of it is government, some of it is private.

      Pipeline companies literally have to talk to thousands of people to get the right of way and 1 person (like these guys) can throw a wrench into the entire process.

      Fact: without the pipeline, people would be paying more for heating in the winter. That’s the benefit.

      Fact: The cost? A family loses a few acres of land tot he company.

      Keep in mind, odds are, thousands of people let hte pipeline through their property: this was the only family which didn’t like the idea.

      Being in O&G, I can give you my 2 cents: more often than not, landowners who fight the pipeline companies want more money. This is what happens in 95% of all cases.

      They settle in court for a higher amount or the court order the company to go in.

      • Sycholic

        its even worse in this case as its clearly not even put into the article the owners already got paid and trying to say they never agreed to any clearcutting of some of the owners land when too bad for them it was in black and white in the contract. This exact thing happened for Rt. 202 near doylestown, PA and that was a major highway… now look at it… nothing more then a dead end highway. https://www.google.com/maps/@40.3114533,-75.1097834,255m/data=!3m1!1e3

        • Rich Garella

          Again, Sycholic is inventing things. The family has never agreed to the destruction of their family business and has not been paid. There is no such contract.

      • wisewoman53

        Absolute bullshot oil and gas guy. Use your name. This gas is for export. Has NOTHING to do with the domestic energy situation. But the domestic energy and our politics and wars have been dictated to by this industry– a bunch of thugs.

        • Reservoir Engineer-Enhanced Oi

          The article says that the company says the gas is for the northeast.

          • Carol Hammond

            I’m from the northeast…Our AG here in MA did an independent study challenging the need for the NED….the natural gas is not needed..

          • Duane Weaver

            There was a storage of gas last winter in New England, and yet the demand for gas continues to grow. Why would any company pay billions to build a pipeline that is not needed?

          • Carol Hammond

            Because they are ultimately going to export the gas…it’s doubtful that N.E. will see much of the gas coming through the pipeline…

            During the Low Demand study by Synapse that came out at the end of
            2014, a lot of reference was made to “levelized cost of energy.” The
            lower the levelized cost of renewables, the more we could use them and
            the less we would need pipelines.

            Synapse was done when the
            Lazard annual analysis of cost of energy developed in September 2014 was
            out. Lazard updated their costs in November 2015!

            The changes in cost of energy that are most important:

            SOLAR rooftop commercial: $109 (compared to $126 minimum in 2014)
            SOLAR grid-scale came in at around $55 (compared to $72 in 2014)
            WIND came in at $32 (compared to $37 in 2014)
            GAS (base load) came in at $52 (compared to $61 in 2014)
            GAS (peaker) came in at $165 (compared to $179)
            ENERGY EFFICIENCY is still cheaper than all of these above options.

            Natural gas and oil prices are lower than they’ve been for a long time around here

          • Duane Weaver

            There are no facilities north of the Chesapeake Bay that can liquefy natural gas for export. The cost to build a plant that can liquefy natural gas cost approximately $6 billion and takes 5 years or more to build. There is absolutely no way any New England State would ever approve of building a LNG facility. The regulatory barriers would be impossible to overcome. Furthermore the cost of liquefying natural gas for export is very expensive and there is no way the Russians will permit high cost American gas to be imported into Europe. The Russians will cut their price to maintain their market share in Europe.

          • Reservoir Engineer-Enhanced Oi

            Based on spending, a lot of utilties in the northeast seem to be having winter shortages of natural gas, since coal is being replaced by NG.

            That’s what I’ve heard.

      • Jeanne Wallace

        its not “just a few acres” its the trees..It takes a mature tree — 40 to 50 years old — to produce maple syrup safely. By that age, the sugar maple has reached a diameter of roughly 10 inches and, according to the standard Ontario tapping rule, can handle one tap. so those people are out of business for over a generation..I’d be pissed too

        • Blah

          i feel ya, fair compensation would have to be at ten year revenue projections in my opinion

    • Sycholic

      stop crying for them. the whole article is full of crap. there was no eminent domain. they got paid to use the land they didnt read the contract and took the money now the owners all up in arms crying like they thought the pipeline would magically get buried under their land.

      • Rich Garella

        Your information is incorrect. The family has fought this land seizure every step of the way, and has not been compensated.

        • Sycholic

          oh yeah you must be one of the main stream media kind of people. pity they aint telling the whole story.

          • Rich Garella

            There hasn’t even been a compensation hearing yet, let alone compensation given. You are the only one who invents this “fact.”

    • digitrack

      This benefits everyone. less coal and oil being used.

      • robynk

        Are you kidding? Benefits everyone? Wake up. The landowners are not benefitting nor is the environment or generations to come.

        • Carol Hammond

          apparently it’s ok with a lot of people to run the pipelines through wetlands, conservation lands, private property, water supplies along with the compressor stations spouting toxic poisons during blowdowns along with schools being in the incineration zones…I want my Grand Babies to have clean air and clean drinking water…more renewables are needed. I have solar panels and heat with a wood boiler…

  • HBa.

    Why wouldn’t current law suits On Fair compensation have to be settled before construction could continue?

    • Ken

      What would be the point in postponing construction until a suit over compensation was settled in court? The bottom line is that the pipeline project was approved by the government an was going to happen, that ship had sailed. A law suit over compensation could go on for years, conceivably through SCOTUS if appeals are granted. Eventually a court at some level will declare that the fair amount of compensation is “X” dollars, and that will be that. If all compensation agreements had to be finalized before construction could begin on a project you could potentially looking at decades! I’ve been through this process myself when the most fertile part of my family’s farm, which had been in the family since 1830, was “taken” for the town’s new public golf course in the mid 1980′s.

      • Mary Sweeney

        The pipeline–which runs from PA into NY–has not received approval from the NYS DEC.

      • HBa.

        I went though something similar with a granite quarry. It wasn’t eminent domain issue. I was an adjoining property owner.

  • Jayhad

    Fuck this government, fuck this country and its so called laws. Its all a joke.

    • disqus_lPXETc1pqC

      Don’t beat around the bush, just come straight to the point.

  • Jonathan Kay

    When referring to the police firearms, the media writes “…semi-automatic weapons.” When referring to the civilian ownership of semi-automatic weapons, the media calls it “assault rifles”. Stinking liberal twits!

    • Bad Habit

      Um…. seems more like a conservative media down playing the use of military arms by civilian law enforcement agencies against law abiding citizens exercising their 1st Amendment Rights.

      Fascism is is NOT a liberal ideal but apparently ignorance *IS* a conservative one.

      • maxsdad

        Actually, fascism IS a liberal ideology. Nazis were both fascists AND Socialists, as was fascist Italy. And another thing that’s liberal ideology seems to be pathological lying. And you’re infected, BH.

        • Jack McIntosh

          That lie from the far right is getting old. The Nazis (who were nationalist, not socialists) hijacked the “socialist workers party” and used it for their own agenda. You know, kind of like what Trump is doing to the republicans right now.

        • Bad Habit

          You better hope Bernie wins.
          It is VERY obvious that you need the free college education.

  • floridanativee

    How do you think they get the power from the wind and solar plants to the grid. This happens in our society and has been happening for several hundred years. There are legal remedies for it. If you do not like the price you are offered, you can go to court and have your say. You guys want us to live in caves?

  • Mine Mine

    Where are the so called Patriots? The ones who help the Bundies.. These folks deserve more help than the bundies did!

    • Devere

      In jail, where they belong.

  • jhon greibel

    Karma ? the CEO of Chesapeake Energy just offed himself this morning.

  • jhon greibel

    darn if there ain’t alot of OAK leaves on the ground round that gals feet.

  • Michael

    And you thought you lived in a free country. Disgusting. Our govenrment is out of control.

  • D Brown

    The Koch Brothers at their best ! Billionaire Greed ! They could have gone around this property very easily , but it would have cost these damn billionaires a little more money ! So you know who owns Washington !

    • Reservoir Engineer-Enhanced Oi

      Williams is not a Koch Company…Hence why it is called Williams…and not Koch…

      • snodog

        You may be right but, I wouldn’t doubt, with the amount of stuff they have their hands in, the Kochs have at least some stake in Williams.

  • Bad Habit

    And the rest of the grove will be killed off the first time the pipeline leaks…….. as ALL pipelines eventually do. It’s just a matter of time.

    • digitrack

      Do you like anything BH? Or are just a pain in the ass all the time? When you stop using oil,gasoline,natural gas, or electricity made by fossil fuel your opinion lacks credibility.

      • Bad Habit

        Yes, I like clean air, potable water, and healthy food.

        I recycle, compost, a harvest rain water.
        My home is equipped with solar panels and wind generators.
        I work from home but drive an electric/ethanol hybrid when I need to go somewhere.
        I have a still that I use to make my own ethanol (both for the car and for personal consumption).

        My carbon footprint is as small as technically feasible with what is currently available to the public.

        My lack of “credibility” is all in *your* feeble mind.

        Btw….. what do *you* do to help improve the planet?
        Or are you just another online hypocrite?

  • disqus_4QILcqf28h

    I don’t follow the argument that eminent domain for the public good does
    not apply because some of the natural gas may be sold to Canada or
    internationally. Like most defenses listed by those opposed to the pipeline,
    this argument does not make logical sense.

    • konan

      Have you ever even read the United States Constitution’s 5th amendment which addresses the limited allowed use of eminent domain to “for the public use?” It can’t get any more clear than that. The Republican legislators in South Carolina and the Republican Governor of Georgia understand this principle unlike the RINO party of PA and are passing legislation to prevent the use of eminent domain against their citizen landowners for the Palmetto Pipeline.

      The projects can get built without eminent domain. The pipeline companies would have to treat the landowners fairly. I’ve read the Holleran’s court case. Like most landowners in an eminent domain case, the offer they received is insulting and the pipeline co has a “take it or leave it attitude.

      You obviously no nothing about where this gas is going. Quit believing the liers like the Chesapeake CEO who was just indicted over hardworking PA landowners.

      • disqus_4QILcqf28h

        Politicians are notorious for passing laws they know
        will not stand judicial scrutiny. And I believe the
        phrase is “for the public good,” not “public use.”

        • Rich Garella

          Ten seconds of research will show you that you are incorrect. It is “public use.”

          • disqus_4QILcqf28h

            Rich, you are correct The phrase is “public use,”
            as WikipediA notes; “The property need not actually
            be used by the public; rather, it must be used or
            disposed of in such a manner as to benefit the
            public welfare or public interest.”

          • Rich Garella

            Right. The courts have been steadily watering down the meaning of “public use” in eminent domain, notably in Kelo v New London where a majority of the Supreme Court decided that the ancillary benefits (jobs, tax revenue, “development” in general) of a project that would mainly benefit private interests qualifies as public use.
            The result is that corrupt governments (fed, state) find it easy to subsidize their corporate pals by seizing land from citizens who lack the political pull that comes from being super-rich.

  • ROSCOELSE

    Warren Buffett and Bill Gates own a piece of this company,Trump doesn’t ,but he like to see trees get cut down.It would be interesting to seehowmany politicians and which ones own a piece of this,how about senator Brown of Ohio.

  • ROSCOELSE

    I guess that New England settled for the emminent domain aspect,rather than allow fracking.

  • Glenn

    so much for the Constitution, what a shame, what a scam on the American people. I just bought a pint of maple syrup last week, poured over French vanilla premium ice cream, it`s amazing! We have so much crude oil now, there`s no where to put it. The big investment banks, even the Saudis and Qataris predict $100.00 BBL is gone, forever!, it may be 2 or 3 years before it even hits $45.00 a BBL again, the price American oil drillers/frackers need to even go back into business. New technology is rapidly replacing oil. Follow the money, it knows, In 2015 more investment Billions went into renewable energy than oil. :A sugar maple takes 50 years to grow big enough to be tapped, Now, in the name of oil, a family`s life long business, and thousands of 100 year old trees, are destroyed,

    • justaman

      “Constitution Pipeline that would carry natural gas”

    • Devere

      The trees in the photos look to be about 30 yrs old if that. We wouldn’t tap those trees for at least another 10-20 years. So for them to say they lost 90% of their business is doubtful, based on the photos.

      • Scuba Dave

        Then you should know that stem diameter is not indicative of age.

    • digitrack

      They got paid for every tree. I’ve worked cross country jobs I know how this works. Plus the trees showed were not 100 year old trees.

      • Rich Garella

        You don’t know how this has worked. Your information is incorrect. The family has fought this land seizure every step of the way, and has not been compensated. The compensation will be fought out in court with high-priced corporate lawyers on the company side, not through a good faith business negotiation.

        • digitrack

          I have done this type of work for over 30 years. If they are the land owners with no previous right away agreement then they will be compensated at fair market value for each tree.

      • snodog

        Did they get paid for the income the trees would have given them for say 200 years.

        • digitrack

          the trees won’t live that long

          • snodog

            Might wanna check your facts on how long trees live.

    • toomuchgas

      I have tapped maples that were only 30 years old and there are loads of maple trees. The problem is that with global warming it disrupts the normal season plus there are a lot of blights that weaken the trees.

  • b_sure

    Democracy is Dead. “Constitution Pipeline” is a farce of a name. It was the most unconstitutional event I’ve ever witnesses. Armed with automatic weapons, Marshals guard us as we protest in sadness, shock and silence.

    • benevolent_dictator

      The property owners may want to invoke their 2nd amendment rights as the Williams Corp and judge Malachy Mannion have not made the land owners whole for the action intended to benefit the Williams Corp more than the public.

  • maxsdad

    Without eminent domain there would be NO hospitals, NO schools, NO roads, NO dams, NO harbors, NO parks, NO librarys, NO airports, NO animal sanctuaries, NO national forests, NO running water, NO electrical grid, NO cities (maybe that would be better), NO AMERICA!

  • Ed Conley

    There are alot of discharged veteran snipers out there. Start looking

  • benevolent_dictator

    This is an absolute violation of the 5th amendment and requires the use of the 2nd amendment by the land owners against the Williams corporation and judge Malachy Mannion, and the FERC ruling panel; give me liberty or give me death needs to be the position as this fed gov is no longer defending the US Constitution. This is a private company wanting to sell natural gas for a profit. Nothing wrong with a profit but the corporation should have negotiated a path with land owners by compensating them to their expectations as to make their quality of life whole again.
    This is why precedent law needs to be secondary and reasoning from the basis of the constitution’s authors needs to be primary. The CRDA vs Banin and Kelo v. City of New London court decisions create a precedent based on bad law, hence the reasoning is copied to create more bad decisions because judges refuse to reason from the basis of the authors of the US Constitution, who were much wiser and better informed than a majority of US judges now.

  • Mystery Person

    So what I understand, Hollerans had agree to let the pipeline pass on an unused part of their 23 acres. Williams changed the route when requested by Stakeholders in the pipeline, which took the route through their maple trees they harvest a product from, for several generations. Williams is trying to pay them for the value of the wood and not the annual production loss they will suffer. It will take them 40 – 50 years to plant new trees in another part of their property to start safely producing syrup again.

    Williams should be paying in this case, a flat access right to remove these trees and use of their land plus pay them for 50 year of loss of production. This would help Hollerans to use the upfront cost to replant in another part of their property and to cover loss of production until they can start production again. Unlike most Eminent domains such as roads, the pipeline will be transporting production from one State to other States for profit. The pipeline will not make the way of life better for anyone in its path such as roads to ease traffic congestion, government buildings for better services, or infrastructures such as Dams. This pipe line is a cash cow for Williams, and they should pay

    • Jimbo

      Can you give me your source? How do you know what Williams offered the Hollerans?

    • Rich Garella

      One part of your understanding is incorrect. The Hollerans have not agreed to let the pipeline pass on any part of their land. It is a long narrow strip of maple trees and the pipeline would go lengthwise along it.
      Williams is, as you mention, doing this for profit. They, like other businesses, should negotiate with landowners for the value of the land they want for their business purpose–yes, it may be higher given that the land is apparently a good location for a pipeline. When the government seizes the land for the benefit of this for-profit company and forces a low price, it amounts to a huge subsidy for Williams, at the expense of local families and businesses like the Hollerans.

  • Don W

    Well our Government still has no respect for private land I support them the Oregon take over But this is beyond right The federal judge that sent in the Marshals should be removed from the bench Our Government has stooped to domestic terrorism and use of force to take land for a private for profit corporation to take what ever they want…I didn’t want to believe that our Government would do this to American Citizens and treat them as the enemy MY GOD WHERE DO TURN WHAT CAN A FREE AMERICAN CITIZEN GET THE RELIEF THEY DESERVE….ILLEGALS AND TERRORISTS HAVE MORE RIGHTS THE WE DO..I am so dismayed and now see that Americans really DON’T have any real rights just allowances Still better then most places but not much any more

  • Jack McIntosh

    What the h3ll is wrong with this country? The right wing has gone all fascist on us, the far left hasn’t had contact with reality for a decade or more, corporations can grab your land and the courts will send in armed marshals just to make sure you don’t cause a fuss. I’m an Honorably Discharged United States Veteran and I am quickly losing what little faith I had left in America.

  • justaman

    The problem is the overlap of infrastructure and private business, the gas will benefit the public by heating their homes but it is a private companies pipeline. The other option is socialized infrastructure, you know like the city government handling Flint, MI water.

  • Don W

    Eminent Domain was not meant to be used this way Highways and such Talk about Government over reach… Wife and I are Independent Americans and realize that some things are necessary for the good of the people but something like this even if they paid top dollar these people DID NOT WANT GIVE THEIR PROPERTY Well I see we don’t own property we are just allowed to use it unless the Government decides they or someone else wants it

    • desertdweller

      This is not about the government, this is about a private company doing everything it can to violate the Constitution and the courts are letting them do it. It seems private companies are in charge and not the American people.

  • Jimbo

    There are no export facilities that I know of that could export the Nat Gas from the Marcellus Wells, so the export lie is just that a lie. Don’t you New York State residents pay the most in the Country for nat gas? Do you know that nat gas in the Marcellus Shale Fields has the lowest cost to bring to market in the Country. I’m sure you love those $400-1000 dollar heating bills, but try to join the rest of the Country and enjoy the cheapest nat gas in the past 20 years.

    • snodog

      Funny my gas bill hasn’t gone down and I live near Scranton PA. So what benefit have I seen from all this gas drilling.

      And the thing is if the company doesn’t get enough profit they can shut their operation down tomorrow. So all that benefit can disappear quickly.

  • Greg Greenfield

    When a piece of private property is taken against the will of the landowner, so that a corporation can ship materials across that land for profit, the landowner should be compensated with a fraction of that profit. In perpetuity.

    • Brian Ahern

      A corporation will file for bankruptcy to side step your idea. They can legally do this because the relevant laws are the result of corporate lobbying. Want to fight this? They will tie you up in litigation for decades and then “settle” for a few cents on the dollar – as happened with the Exon Valdez oil spill.

      • Greg Greenfield

        Brian Ahern, sorry but what you wrote doesn’t seem relevant to my comment. I was suggesting that the law should require the payment of a fee based upon the value of the materials, in perpetuity, to a landowner whose property is seized through eminent domain for a petroleum pipeline. Local and state governments too, to compensate for the damage done by those products.

  • Brian Ahern

    Does this “country” have a constitution ? The “constitution” is violated a thousand times every day and you can’t do anything about it.

    • Mike

      I’m not sure what is sadder. How many of our rights have been crossed off the Constitution. The third amendment doesn’t exist at all. We already found out that if the police want to take over your house to start a shootout with your neighbor, get out before they kick the door in and arrest you. Or just save some time and shoot you. So, is that the saddest, or is it sadder that we keep giving our rights away.

  • Devere

    The trees in these photos and on their website wouldn’t have produced much Maple Sap. They look to be about 30- 40 year old trees(2 taps per tree), barely big enough to produce any measurable amount of sap. Based on their claim of 300 trees and assuming they have some older high producing sugar maples my educated guess would be about 180 to 240 gal. of syrup per /year, not much more than a hobby farm.

  • digitrack

    They failed to tell you that they got paid for every tree cut down. It is amazing that the people against this will benefit from it. Less coal and oil and more natural gas is a good thing.

    • desertdweller

      And a fair market value is an oxymoron.

      • digitrack

        How So. I did a job a number of years ago crossing a cherry orchard. The owner got paid $600.00 for every tree that I passed. We plowed past 20 trees and damaged none.[I could have cut everyone down.] A quick $12.000.00. I checked with the land owner 3 years later and he had lost 1 tree. Most times the home owner only loses what ever crop he is planting for the year.[ they get paid crop damage for that year.]

    • Rich Garella

      Your information is incorrect. The family has fought this land seizure every step of the way, and has not been paid a dime. When they come and take your home and your land so that some company can make a bigger profit, you may change your mind. And when that happens, we will be on your side.

      • binkyou812

        You are wrong. They have been offered fair and reasonable compensation and refused payment. They lost the case and the pipeline company has the right to proceed. Now the owners are appealing. IF they don’t take the money, that is their decision to “not get paid”.

        • Rich Garella

          The issue here is that it is their land and they are not interested in selling it. Now that the courts have effectively redefined “public use” to mean corporate profits, the federal government is forcing them to sell, with no negotiating power, literally at gunpoint.

          • Rich Garella

            Our tax dollars, hard at work at the Hollerans’…

        • Mike

          If you aren’t living in the house your grandparents left to your parents, then it’s just a patch of dirt and a pile of bricks to you. That’s where you get your sick idea of fair and reasonable compensation. Offer 200K, plus a bit for the wood they destroyed, and you think that’s fair. I doubt you would like being asked to give up your house and job for fair market value (for the house – getting a job is your problem), because they are so sure you will get land and a house that is just as good for that money.

      • 48574

        Oh spares us. Does you house use any utilities? Do you get electricity from a utility? Do you get water from a utility? If your house is heated by gas do you get it from a utility? Heck do you buy gas for your car? (I am willing to bet the oil got to a refinery via a pipeline)

        Unless you live in a cabin in the woods completely off the grid one of those answers is “yes”.

        Do you suppose those services have been brought to you by building infrastructure across someone’s land that didn’t want it to happen?

        Do you suppose eminent domain was used to get the land from those people?

        Do you suppose that some of the service providers that bring you those services are for profit corporations?

        So why is it ok for you to benefit from the use of eminent domain but now others can’t because it is just such a huge violation of the Constitutions that you have railed with so many comments?

        You really do come across as one of those draw bridge NIMBY types. I got my nice home and services too bad if the next people want to live in a home heated with gas cause now it should be illegal to run gas pipelines unless 100% of the land owners voluntary agree to it. (Which means no new pipelines as you will never get 100% agreement and as I have said you benefit from infrastructure that had less then 100% agreement.)

        • Rich Garella

          I agree that my own energy bills are lower because of the use of eminent domain in the past, and I’m sure I would disagree with some of those instances. The problem now is that the courts have expanded the meaning of “public use” to the point that the Fifth Amendment has become nearly meaningless. There are many cases in which eminent domain is needed, but in those cases the project should be a public project made through a democratic process, not a private project for private profits (even if there is a side benefit to some members of the public).
          I don’t think it’s necessary for me to move to an off-grid cabin in the woods to make this point. Though sometimes that sounds nice.

  • toomuchgas

    If we didn’t have imminent domain there would be no electric power or roads. Tapping maple trees is just a hobby. No way it is a business and the suckers grow back like weeds.

  • Ken

    The electrical power grid which supplies the electricity which is being used to power this site and your computer sits on land which was procured through eminent domain. Yes, a nasty, money grubbing, profit motivated power company was allowed the use of eminent domain so that they could sell you electricity. The same goes for the natural gas that heats many of our homes tonight. The gasoline that you put in your car today is a product of crude oil which was transported by a pipeline procured under eminent domain. You may have used your car to pick your kids up from the public school which was built on land procured under eminent domain. The public park were your kids play ball was purchased under eminent domain. Get the picture?

  • TSALAGI

    There is no such thing as Maple “syrup” trees ! There are Sugar maple (rock maple) trees. And you do not drain maple syrup form the tree. You take the SAP and then through a process of cooking it down make maple syrup.

    • desertdweller

      Why don’t you just focus on the article? This is not a technical problem concerning sap and whether the trees are maple or sugar. People do understand it’s about lives being destroyed.

    • Mike

      Oh, I see. So they are maple syrup trees.

    • Susan Phillips

      Thanks for the lesson in maple terminology. You must be referring to the radio story and the headline, where we did refer to “maple syrup trees.” Short radio scripts are written for a large audience who are not always familiar with insider jargon. Not every sugar maple tree on private property is used to harvest sap that turns into syrup. In a 40 second radio piece you need to be as clear as possible, and “maple syrup trees,” in a very short time lets the listener know that these are trees used for agriculture. It’s the same with a headline. We never referred to the maple syrup production process as “drain.”

  • desertdweller

    This is unconstitutional when the American people are deprived of property. Eminent domain has become a catch all for illegal activities. The Constitution specifically states eminent domain must benefit the populace, especially in and around the pipeline. Where are the reports this is actually going to happen? The company is using illegal, heavy-handed tactics to get what it wants. This pipeline should go the way of the Keystone, nowhere.

  • Flash 1005

    I am one who opposes and is active against corporate welfare and companies that socialize their cost of doing business onto taxpayers and the public.
    I have also gone to school in New England and lived in New York.
    I can attest the Northeast relies very much on #2 fuel oil that has low BTU efficiency and high emissions content.
    The people of the Northeast do need this pipeline for the efficiency and lower emissions of natural gas.
    The location and direction of the Constitution Pipeline indicate it is not for export.
    I do use pure maple sugar, am an outdoors, and do believe eminent domain is justified here for the intent of the public good.

    • Rich Garella

      If that is the case, then there should be a public debate and a public decision about whether a pipeline is for the public use, what the effects of continued deforestation and fossil fuel reliance are, etc. Then if we still want it, the pipeline should be publicly owned. Here, eminent domain is being used to prop up a private company’s profits.

      • Flash 1005

        Hi Rich,

        I would agree, but nationalize the pipeline only if that government has the infrastructure and resources to manage it effectively.

  • http://thewrenchphilosleft.blogspot.com/ Wendy Lynne Lee

    Here’s the thing, however, folks. This IS immensely sad–but all the more so since it was completely predictable. The moment the Hollerans began negotiating with Williams to MOVE the pipeline–NOT STOP IT–this was simply over. The reason is that it became about two things:

    Who and what was going to be sacrificed.

    And with what compensation should that remain the Hollerans.

    I realize that it is tremendously sad and an unpopular thing to say–but the truth is that the Hollerans dug this grave themselves, and though well-intended, the protesters did themselves no favors by misrepresenting what this was really about-and that was never about trees as trees. It was always about trees as money.

    And until we get that there’s a morally critical difference between those two things, and then stand up resolutely for the trees AS trees—as vital members of an ecology that supports a host of other species of living things and biota—we will continue to fail over and over.

    Williams knows that as clearly as the daylight pounding the ground between the stumps.

    Indeed, until we decide that this is not about property, money, human communities, or even necessarily the rights of the landowners, but rather the integrity of a global ecosystem jeopardized by the devastating effects of climate change, we will continue to stand with our signs while the planet burns.

    • konan

      Blame the victim much there professor ? So do you really think the landowners being faced with eminent domain have the time to wait for you and your ilk to “fix our democracy?”

      Your childish worldview is so narcissistic as to be a perfect demonstration of the need for “Dillon’s Rule.”

      When your property has been targeted for a taking under the natural gas act (which apparently you’ve never read) you’re options as a landowner are (a) forfeiting your land and just telling the company to not bother compensating you. (b) negotiate the best path for the project. (c) hire legal representation out of your own pocket and go through the eminent domain process which is just to allow the court the power to determine what your compensation will be.

      Your infantile world view is unbecoming anyone who educates our youth.

      Idealism is great. It just won’t help a landowner facing what these people are facing.

      • http://thewrenchphilosleft.blogspot.com/ Wendy Lynne Lee

        Greetings Konan,

        Clearly, I have not blamed any victims. As I said, this is immensely sad. Nonetheless, to characterize the Hollerans as victims is also simply not accurate. They DID negotiate with Williams to MOVE the pipeline, and whether or not the property to which it might have been moved was OK with that other property owner is irrelevant since it would STILL be built, the gas would still be moved to market–domestic or international–and the consequences for the planet the same. Were it these larger issues that motivated the Hollerans, they’d have refused to negotiate with Williams altogether. But the moment they did–for whatever reasons–Williams certainly knew that they’d get their pipeline–that it was about the family’s self-interest, and NOT the larger moral issues.

        To be clear, I feel as much sympathy for this family as anyone, and I certainly don’t begrudge them a living. But the facts are that insofar as they treated their land as property and their trees as–as THEY put it–Syrup machines, the writing was on the wall.

        If I fault anyone its movement organizers that just cannot seem to distinguish between the protection of property and the protection of organisms and biota. They are manifestly not the same things–and–critically–they lead to different actions. The first leads, as we see over and over, to standing with signs. The second, did we take it seriously, would lead to a revolution.

        That I’m a professor is irrelevant–just t point that out–you’re committing a fallacy called ad hominem there. And I wouldn’t query my understanding of the relevant laws here–I assure you, I am quite up to date.

        • Tom Frost

          No need to keep telling us that you don’t give a damn about property rights, Wendy. We already figured that out.

          • http://thewrenchphilosleft.blogspot.com/ Wendy Lynne Lee

            And no need to demonstrate for the umpteenth time that you aren’t interested in reading, Mr. Frost.

  • http://thewrenchphilosleft.blogspot.com/ Wendy Lynne Lee
  • disqus_pv4H8PbLMe

    I think the marshalls are chicken schit. Why do they need to be there as it is the LAND OWNERS LAND that is being stolen. I hope they trip and break a neck or two.

  • binkyou812

    Why is this news?

  • Mike Dymski

    Eminent Domain is meant for use by the government not corporations. This is insane just more proof that we are not Free at all ,and government is totally corrupt and working in the interest of corperations not the people. This is stuff our forefathers fought against this is why government was created , for the people not for the corperations. This is not America anymore, this is why America seperated from england in the first place, because of tyranny

  • robynk

    Where are the local reporters now? The ones who believed and then reported the lies from Chris Stockton, Williams’ PR man, that Williams works with landowners. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Williams does everything it can to bully and intimidate landowners so they can steal their land for corporate profit. Where is Governor Wolf and his natural gas task force? The widespread abuse of landowners by deaf and greedy government officials who are in bed with natural gas is disgusting beyond belief. It certainly makes Ruby Ridge and Waco understandable because America has shamelessly lost its democracy.

  • crystalpoint

    Does anyone know that more sugar maple trees can be planted, and once again sap can be collected from the new trees?

    Crystalpoint

    • snodog

      True but it will take at least 30 to 40 years before they can be tapped.

    • Rich Garella

      The planting of trees over or near the pipeline (which would be buried in a trench) is never permitted, for obvious reasons. You can plant annual crops but even the weight of the equipment you can drive over the pipeline is strictly limited. So, no.

    • Greg Greenfield

      Can I come to your house and cut down all your trees? They grow back, you know.

  • snodog

    Tom Droege, a spokesman for Williams, said the company has made changes to “more than half” of the route, including the Hollerans’ property, as a result of feedback from stakeholders.
    The company also considered a request from the family to move the line to an adjacent property to the west but that would have involved crossing a quarry which would have created “constructability challenges,” Droege said.

    So the Stakeholders wanted the cheapest way possible.
    The quarry in question.
    https://www.google.com/maps/place/New+Milford+Township,+PA/@41.8650472,-75.7148592,1457m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x89dad89d10ce04d9:0xfdadc0cdf8c96f85!6m1!1e1

  • Greg Greenfield

    popeye, how do you feel about the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Article 1, Section 27 in particular?

  • williamftaylor

    The taking of land was for the “Common good”. Like I said, this is unfortunate but has been deemed necessary by the courts. Look at all the highways and power lines that crisscross our country and you will understand that this has happened for over 100 years and will continue to happen.

  • Steve Todd

    Eminent Domain is to be used for the public good. One for-profit entity taking another’s ability to make profit so that one can increase theirs is NOT for the public good. It is for the taker’s good alone.

    Wake up people. Wake up.

  • Allan Luft

    Plain and simple, court-sanctioned armed robbery. This is what communism is like.

  • disqus_3roqrBXtKk

    Obviously safety and efficiency are of paramount importance here,,,,,, that is, when we get the government to authorize us stealing your land.

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