Editor’s note: Randy Thompson is a landowner from Merrick County whose land will be crossed by the TransCanada pipeline. We consider him to be a rockstar in this fight to protect our land, water and citizens. He recently received his “final” offer from TransCanada. This is his response:
Dear Mr. Irons:
I want to acknowledge receipt of your final offer for an easement across our land in Merrick County, Nebraska. Perhaps we do need to settle this issue once and for all, because quite frankly sir, after three years of your unwanted presence in our lives we’ve had enough. We are sick and tired of you and your company.
We’re tired of your company’s arrogant attitude towards us and our fellow Nebraskans. We’re tired of spending most of our days defending our property rights from your unwanted invasion. We’re tired of the relentless pressure your company has placed upon us and other landowners to sign easement agreements that we do not want.
We’re tired of hearing your boasts of a 98% negotiated settlement rate on easement agreements when the truth is you have gained most of these agreements by using what we would consider to be intimidating and deceptive tactics.
We’re tired of watching you trying to buy support from our local communities. These are the same communities that we have supported everyday for years, if not generations, and will continue to support long after you are gone.
We’re tired of hearing your claims of being a good neighbor even though you are willing to put our water supply and other natural resources at peril when an alternative route exists within our state that would greatly minimize those risks. Apparently your criteria for being a good neighbor is a lot different than ours. Here in Nebraska we consider a good neighbor as someone who is honest and trustworthy and would do everything possible to protect our property just as if it were his own.
We’re tired of hearing about the great benefits our state will realize from this project. The truth is that these benefits will be very short lived, and our state will be left to serve as a conduit to the Gulf Coast. This may greatly enhance the oil company’s profit margins by allowing them access to the global oil market, but will do little to benefit the State of Nebraska or its citizens.
We’re tired of witnessing the results of your lobbying efforts at our state capital that have apparently kept our legislature from passing some much needed pipeline regulatory bills.
Until a court of law determines otherwise Mr. Irons your arbitrary claim to condemnation powers is nothing more to us than an empty threat. We feel very strongly that this pipeline could place our property and way of life at risk. Therefore, we are unwilling to succumb to such a threat and respectfully decline your final offer. Our conclusion is that the courts need to make the final determination on this issue.