Landowners have the power to turn the table on how TransCanada is operating in our state. TransCanada needs landowners and landowners have all the power, but only if we all stick together to make sure--if the pipeline is approved--that folks get the best terms and most protection in the easement contract.
A non-profit group called NEAT was formed to help landowners with their legal rights.
Landowners, and citziens who also care about the impacts of the pipeline, can become NEAT supporters which means you are then able to tell TransCanada "do not call me or come on to my land, I am with NEAT and you can call our legal team."
NEAT has lots more info posted on their website including how you can be part of NEAT: http://www.nebraskaeasement.org
Bold also has a page up that goes over some basic tips when dealing with TransCanada: http://boldnebraska.org/landowners_do_not_sign
Print this two-page document and post in your town at the coffee shop, library or place where folks go often.
Info to Share with Landowners
In order for landowners to have the most power in negotiations with TransCanada, we need as many landowners affected by the proposed route to join and become Supporters of NEAT. The old saying there is strength in numbers is never truer for what we are facing now.
TransCanada has endless amounts of resources, what we have is what they want—land and access to our land – so why give it away? If they can tell elected officials everyone voluntarily signed up with them the impression is that everyone is 100% okay with their proposed project and their contract terms.
Whether you agree with TransCanada’s tarsands pipeline or not, we can all agree if this project gets approved and our families have to live with a pipeline on our property for 50-100 years (or more). Because of this simple fact we have no choice but to ensure the TERMS of the easement/contract are in our favor, not TransCanada. We should be writing our contract, not TransCanada.
Here are just a few items that are in TransCanada’s version of the Easement contract favor them and hurt you.
1) Abandonment of Pipe: TransCanada is saying they have the right to simply abandon the pipe in the ground at any time. Is this a good deal for you? What happens when the tarsands are all gone, too expensive to mine, or when TransCanada doesn’t exist anymore?
2) Oil Spill Liability: TransCanada likes to tell folks federal law takes care of all the liability around oil spills. Why don’t you ask someone in the Gulf Coast how this is working out. TransCanada has suggested you buy an insurance policy to protect from a spill of their product. Yes, you pay the premiums forever but they pay you only once at Easement signing.
3) Access to Land: TransCanada wants to come and go as they please on your land for "maintenance, surveying and more." What do you think about more clear guidelines and timing notifications and defining why and they can enter your land and your rights of refusal.
4) Ownership of Pipe: Right now TransCanada could sell the pipeline to another company, international or otherwise, and that new company would just assume ownership of the easement on your land. Would you like a Chinese corporation or other to have the rights to get on your land whenever it chooses and to tell you what you can and can’t do?
5) Money: TransCanada is trying their best to lure folks in with dollar signs to take you off the real issues at hand – all the fine print of the Easement. They want your land. They need your land. You have the upper hand. They have lots more money to pay out for easements, so now is not the time to sign with their contract and for money that is certainly lower than what they can and should pay. The Omaha World Herald reported on June 17, 2012 that current offers are now 4 times higher than TransCanada’s “best” offers a year ago. What a good neighbor.
The time is now to prepare and take action. Join your neighbors who are already NEAT supporters and let’s work together to get the best deal we can. Don’t wait until it is too late to be prepared. This fight has been brought to your door step – what are you going to do? Sign a Support Commitment form today!