Last week, InsideClimate News ran an in-depth piece on eminent domain for private gain. When the article ran, neither Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton stated a position on eminent domain for private gain.
We decided to ask them about the issue, and we got an answer from both the Sanders and Clinton campaigns…this is a significant development!
Whoever wins the Democratic nomination can and should speak to rural and independent voters who care deeply about this issue and who are facing eminent domain threats right now that could destroy their land, water and economic security.
The Republicans are in real trouble on eminent domain, since their base understands it and sees it as a fundamental values issue.
If you want to stop climate change, then you must end eminent domain for private gain. Period.
You can not say you want to work on climate change, and then support fossil fuel corporations taking land to build massive and carbon polluting projects that have nothing to do with energy independence and have everything to do with Big Gas and Big Oil’s greedy bottom line.
Bernie Sanders said while in Nebraska, “Too often, massive corporations like TransCanada march into heartland communities and try to seize people’s property, just so their CEO’s can take home bigger bonus checks. That’s wrong and it needs to stop. The government should not allow big companies to take people’s land.”
Additionally, in 2006 when the Supreme Court trample on property rights with he Kelo decision, here is what Sanders said: “The result of this decision will be that working families and poor people will see their property turned over to corporate interests and wealthy developers.”
Sec. Clinton’s campaign says “she will pull together all agencies with project permitting and eminent domain authority to pursue a comprehensive strategy for modernizing America’s energy that creates jobs, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, improves safety and powers a 21stcentury economy. This whole-of-government strategy will streamline an inefficient and patchwork permitting process while respecting landowners’ property rights and improving transparency and public participation.”
The GOP field embraces eminent domain for fossil fuel projects, but then pretends to hate eminent domain when it comes to Donald Trump’s parking lots.
- Donald Trump has a love affair with eminent domain for private gain, for pipelines or parking lots. He thinks eminent domain is “wonderful.”
- Ted Cruz is fine with eminent domain for foreign tarsands pipelines like Keystone XL but thinks Donald Trump’s use of it for parking lots and casinos is a bad thing (putting Cruz in a hypocritical position).
- Marco Rubio is exactly where Cruz is.
- John Kasich said he would “usually come down more on the side of the people who own the property,” but a clear policy stance could draw a bright line for him to get some traction.
Bottom Line on Eminent Domain:
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have policy stances on eminent domain for private gain.
Republicans on the other hand want it both ways–they are against it when Trump uses it, but 100% for it when TransCanada or other Big Oil corporations take land for their private gain.
For progressives, you can not say you are fighting climate change, and then turn around and embrace eminent domain to expand fossil fuel projects.
For conservatives, you can not say you are against eminent domain for parking lots, but totally embrace it for pipelines.
People’s livelihoods and cultures are tied up in the land; you start handing that over to Big Corporations and you are handing over our American values and a fundamental right to protect the land and water.
Bold Nebraska plans on making eminent domain a top-tier issue in the 2016 election cycle up and down the ballot!