The legislators and courts of Pennsylvania are on the side of the fossil fuel developers and are supporting the development of pipelines through privately owned lands. Using the sovereign power of eminent domain to take the land from its owners, the state enables pipeline developers to get their toxic product to market. This is not for the benefit of the people of Pennsylvania, but for the special interests that are extracting the natural gas and selling it for profit.
When eminent domain is used to provide highways, public transportation, or the delivery of needed utilities people generally grudgingly accept that it is justified for the greater good of all. But this is not even remotely the case here. There is a surplus of gas. The new pipelines have a purely commercial purpose. And that purpose is not in the public interest. Burning that gas, or making plastic from it, anywhere on the planet creates hazards to health that will persist for generations. It should stay in the ground, and Pennsylvania should not be compelling people to sell their land for pipelines.
We can’t help but sympathize with Ellen Gerhart and others whose lives and homesteads are being savaged. (Click to read article)