Canada

3 Reasons to Build the Keystone XL Pipeline

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Few energy projects have inspired the level of vitriol surrounding the Keystone XL Pipeline, that would run 1,700 miles from Alberta, Canada through the United States to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico.

The oil sands of Alberta are estimated to hold 170 million 170 billon barrels of petroleum, the largest reservoir of black gold outside of Saudi Arabia.

Because the pipeline crosses an international boundary, President Barack Obama has the final say over whether to give the project a green light.

Here are three reasons to build the pipeline:

 1. The oil isn't going to stay buried.

American environmentalists oppose the pipeline partly because they oppose the burning of fossil fuels – especially those extracted from relatively dirty "oil sands." But if America doesn't build the pipeline, that oil is still going to be processed and enter the environment. It'll just get bought by China and other countries looking for cheap and plentiful energy. And TransCanada, the company behind the pipeline, is already working on contingency plans to do just that.

2. The pipeline isn't a disaster waiting to happen.

Opponents say that the proposed route dangerously strays over part of the Ogallala Aquifer in Nebraska, which supplies water for 20 million people. The governor and legislature of Nebraska has urged president obama to start building. TransCanada has already agreed to redirect the pipeline to minimize hazards. It's also agreed to encase the pipeline in cement and post a $100 million bond to cover any possible cleanups. 

3. It will help the economy.

Estimates for jobs related to the pipepline run everywhere from 6,000 to a quarter of a million, with TransCanada saying it will hire 15,000 workers to build the thing. The exact figures are unknowable, but once it's up and running, Keystone XL will adds billions of dollars in ongoing economic activity and tax revenues.

President Obama has the authority to stop the pipeline if he determines that it's not "in the national interest." Given the potential upsides of the project, the relative ease with which environmental concerns can be addressed, and the president's own commitment to what he calls "an all of the above energy strategy,"  it's hard to conjure up a strong case against building the Keystone XL pipeline.

About 2.30 minutes.

Produced by Meredith Bragg. Written and hosted by Nick Gillespie.

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366 responses to “3 Reasons to Build the Keystone XL Pipeline

  1. B-b-b-b-b-b Global Warming!!!

    1. And the Magic Tree of Yamal!

    2. my classmate’s sister-in-law makes $70/hr on the internet. She has been fired for six months but last month her pay was $15744 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site… http://www.Snag4.com

  2. Reason Number 1: To say fuck you to James Hansen and the High Priests of AGW Orthodoxy.

      1. Homo-erectus-erectionus.

  3. Its not a question of IF the stuff will be burned but by whom. Blocking the pipeline is economically stupid and would be worse for mother gaia because I bet we’ll burn it more cleanly than they would in China, but then again, the enviroprogs don’t care about reason and rational decision making.

    1. I have to admit, I would like nothing better than to watch these stupid, spoiled children stamp their feet and hold their breath to keep this from being built.

    2. Not only that, but which is likely to be better for the environment: A pipeline through the US, or a bunch of oil tankers sailing between Canada and China?

      1. I don’t know what I’m talking about, but I’ll comment anyway.

        I assume the refineries are way the fuck down there in N.O. because that is near the Gulf of Mexico Oil supply (or is it simply that N.O. is a port city?).
        If the Alberta lode is so stupendously huge, an investment in new refineries near the Alberta supply seems justified thus making moot the need for the XL.

        1. I’m not sure about Canada, but in the US it’s difficult to impossible to build new refineries, due to all the regulations involved. The Richmond refinery near San Francisco has been trying for years to upgrade their facilities, and it’s turned into a years-long battle.

        2. Copernicus| 2.17.13 @ 10:38PM |#|?|filternamelinkcustom

          I don’t know what I’m talking about, but I’ll comment anyway.

          Clearly.

          A refinery is a multibillion dollar investment that has to clear innumerable environmental and other regulatory hurdles as PapayaSF indicated. In addition, the products from the refinery (diesel, gasoline, kerosene, naphtha, olefins, heavy resid, coke) will all have to be shipped to distribution centers or plants that convert them to useful products, eg olefins to polymers to plastic bags. So a pipeline moves the entire slate of materials to the world’s most highly developed and integrated location, the US Gulf Coast.

    3. So what you’re saying is….property rights only count for people who agree with you? Take your Ayn Rand and get out of my libertarianism.

      I’ll just leave this here to remind the readership what Reason is *supposed* to be about: https://reason.com/archives/200…..vironmenta

  4. There’s nothing more American than XL.

    1. You’re so 90s. Have you SEEN Biggest Loser?

      1. I’m so three thousand and eight; you’re so two thousand and late.

  5. The governor of nebraska has urged president obama

    It should become Reason editorial policy to never capitalize obama’s name. And nebraska’s, because fuck nebraska.

    Still, thank goodness they fired Lucy, so the professionalism of Reason isn’t impugned by silly typographical or grammatical errors.

    1. I came here to post this.

      An unreal lack of editing.

    2. The editing at reason has really gone downhill since Virginia Postrel was here.

      1. Maybe that’s why they give us posters an edit feature, so they we can’t make them look bad?

        1. See…. won’t give

          1. You missed “so they we can’t” in your correction. :-p

    3. They fired her? She was always cool with me. Although the few times she personally addressed me was to thank me for noticing errors. No big deal.

      1. She wasn’t left enough.

    4. Heh. I was browsing the comments to see if antone caught that.

      obama and his nebraskian plot.

  6. President Obama, it’s time to reject the Keystone XL pipeline

    The opposition to Keystone is fierce, but there’s a very good reason. Here’s how top NASA climate scientist James Hansen put it earlier this year:
    “If Canada proceeds, and we do nothing, it will be game over for the climate. Canada’s tar sands, deposits of sand saturated with bitumen, contain twice the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by global oil use in our entire history… Every major national science academy in the world has reported that global warming is real, caused mostly by humans, and requires urgent action. The cost of acting goes far higher the longer we wait — we can’t wait any longer to avoid the worst and be judged immoral by coming generations.”
    The Globe writes about “appeasing” environmentalists, but the real political choice today is whether or not to appease this industry — the fossil fuel looters — who are putting at risk our collective future for their short-term, record profits.

    1. Game over, man!

      So what are ‘we’ to do, then? Invade Canada to save the climate?

      1. Considering that a Dem is in the White House and a Tory is in power in Ottawa…yes?

      2. Exactly. We must drop Seal teams into Canada to stop them from developing their resources!

        These people have completely abandoned rational thought.

        1. Eh, I don’t know about that eh? Them Canucks know how to whack a seal, know what I’m sayin’.

      3. http://news.nationalgeographic…..ozone.html

        James Hansen works for NASA. According to National Geographic, rocket launches emit dangerous chlorine gas directly into the stratosphere, which may very well result in damage to the ozone layer.

        I wonder if NASA climateologist James Hansen is going to come out against space programs as well.

        1. NASA no longer has space programs. It’s Not About Space Anymore.

          1. National Anthropomorphic-global-warming-is-totally-based-on Science Administration?

            1. Anthropogenic. Dammit.

              1. Realy nede a edt sisteem hear.

    2. If Canada proceeds, and we do nothing, it will be game over for the climate

      Sure, it will be over, until the next time that it will be over.

  7. Sad to see libertarians defending this bullshit, which requires extensive and involuntary use of eminent domain for private profit.

    1. This is the most important question, and no one is discussing it. I couldn’t easily find a reference on the details of the proposed path, but it’s hard to believe that it could be done without eminent domain, so I’ll take Proprietist’s word for it.

      If even a single plot of land is used against its owner’s will then the environmental and economic issues are irrelevant. Eminent domain is theft regardless of what the Constitution implies or courts have ruled.

      1. Following your line of “reasoning,” we would never have been able to construct roads, pipelines, electrical transmission lines, railroads, etc. We would be trapped in a perpetual pre-industrial existence.

        No thanks. The Founders and our courts have consistently understood that the judicious exercise of eminent domain is essential to the greater good.

        1. ROADZ!? Why hasn’t any libertarian considered that problem?

        2. Following your line of “reasoning,” without eminent domain we would never have been able to construct anything.

          1. Yeah, how about not planning to build shit without having a place to put it first?

            1. Exactly. They should have built a natural gas refinery at the border on their own property instead of using government force to seize land from top to bottom.

        3. Any of those things can and have easily been built without eminent domain.

      2. Eminent Domain Fight Has a Canadian Twist

        Judge Upholds Eminent Domain for Pipeline in Texas

        Bullshit that Reason, a supposedly staunch advocate against private-use eminent domain is supporting this.

        1. You realize there is a difference?
          Almost no one is losing anything but a narrow strip of RoW in pipeline construction. They can still use the land for most purposes too. It is an easement, not a wholesale taking.

          Do you want the government to nationalize the whole industry in lieu of just regulating the fuck out of it?

          1. Have you ever seen a crop field where a pipeline runs underneath? The soil ends up extra compacted after they get installed and then things grow all shitty. And if the land is going to get developed later, the plots have to be tweaked around the pipeline. Pipelines are space hogs when they cut through diagonally and you end up with a bunch of screwy lot lines.

            1. Have you ever seen a crop field where a pipeline runs underneath?

              Many thousands of them. Outside of the little fence markers often no one but the landowner and pipeline company know the pipe is there. You can subdivide in straight lines right across a utility easement.

              1. You can subdivide over easements. Building is another matter.

                Gas lines often outright take the whole strip.

                1. That is why sometimes a landowner should want a diagonal strip rather than having his whole road frontage taken out. Pipeline companies will usually accommodate if you ask, and run the line along a property boundary. The landowner often gets a brand new high quality fence out the deal too. Getting paid to have a new cleared and perpetually maintained fence line makes most landowners very happy.

                  1. They will use as much legal force as they can get their hands on to build as straight of a line as geologically possible.

        2. Crawford was offered $21,626 for about an 1.5 acres of her land. They want to go down a natural creekbed – less digging, I guess. Nice price – I would have taken it. But she didn’t, as is her right. Sounds like a court battle is in the works.

          She’s taken up with the anti-fracking crowd now, however, so she may be a lost cause.

    2. All principles are negotiable when we’re talking oil. This is about good capitalists vs. evil smelly hippie environmentalists the end.

  8. Reason #4: how have gas prices in your area been doing these last couple of weeks?

  9. But I have been told that since this oil doesn’t come out of the ground clear and pure and ready to use, there is no good reason to bother with it.

  10. And #5: Anything that will annoy the Sierra Club is worthy doing on that basis alone.

  11. Sad to see libertarians defending this bullshit, which requires extensive and involuntary use of eminent domain for private profit.

    Really? There’s no conceivable alternative to forcible use of eminent domain?

    1. When the companies reach someone whose prices is exorbitant or they don’t want to sell, what do you think they’ll do: go around at great expense, or have the government steal the land for them at “fair” price?

  12. Regardless of whether the pipeline is a good idea or not, shouldn’t libertarians be opposing it on the grounds that the route is being secured through the use of dozens of emminent domain actions to force uninterested landowners to turn their property over to a private party?

    It’s indicative of the reflexive TEAM RED partisanship that pervades so many “libertarians” that they’re willing to back the siezure of private property to further a centralized government energy policy as long as they get to make Obama look bad in the process.

    1. I would say that the reflex is more of one that Obama is usually wrong on..well…everything. If he opposes something it almost always deserves a second look.

      1. Also the environmentalists are opposing it for anti-capitalist reasons.. The fact that they are against the Keystone Pipeline per se as opposed to being against the use of eminent domain to construct it also explains it as well.

        1. Who cares? This pipeline is everything that is wrong with “capitalism” – politically connected corporations given preferential treatment by government, trodding on individual rights and the environment in the name of profits, tax revenue and economic growth. If this is capitalism, count me out.

          1. Just stating that awful people opposing something for awful reasons can encourage libertarians to defend something that they really shouldn’t be defending.

            trodding on individual rights and the environment in the name of profits, tax revenue and economic growth. If this is capitalism, count me out

            Care to elaborate on the bold points? “Trodding” on the environment in the name of profits and economic growth sounds rather libertarian.

            1. I think the environment is intrinsically related to property rights, and individuals whose property and health are harmed by corporations deserve compensation.

              Profits and economic growth are common outcomes of true free markets, but are not libertarian values in their own rights as the maximization of profit and growth can and often does contradict with individual rights. A libertarian holds individual rights sacrosanct above all other values.

          2. politically connected corporations

            Start your own damn pipeline company and you will have the exact same “political connections” as any of the existing ones.

    2. Obama makes himself look bad, often by employing the various rhetorical devices his speeches crutch on or through outright lies. And no solution beyond eminent domain exists regarding this pipeline? Seriously?

      Maybe a lot of people see a vast store of energy, within very easy reach, and believe that some way of extracting and utilizing it can be found that satisfies landowners, the company, and even govt.

      1. And no solution beyond eminent domain exists regarding this pipeline? Seriously?

        This pipeline? All pipeline and utility RoWs are secured under the threat of eminent domain. Where do you think your electricity and gas is going to come from?

    3. For what it’s worth, a pipeline is actually minimally intrusive. For the most part, pipelines require easements, not seizure of property. After the pipeline is installed, usually well below the surface, the land above it can continue to be used for most activities.

      If you doubt that–and I’m confident you will–just check a map of the existing pipelines that crisscross this nation. Those pipeline pass through farmland and through urban areas with scarcely anyone even realizing that they are there.

      1. So if farmers can’t use or access a huge swath of their land during growing season because involuntary construction is taking place right in the middle of their own property?

        1. because it’s impossible to think that farmers might be compensated for said loss should construction occur as you outline above. There really are options beyond prohibition and alcoholism.

          1. Because they have a whole lot of say about the terms when the government hands their property over to TransCanada and tells them to shut the fuck up and take their final offer?

          2. How about we set up a welfare office in your living room?

            But, but we’ll give you 20 bucks a day!

            Come on, man. It’s for the common good, you can’t be against the common good, can you?

            1. That’s one hell of a straw man, General.

    4. How wide is the pipe?

      1. Probably no more than 42″.

  13. the real political choice today is whether or not to appease this industry — the fossil fuel looters — who are putting at risk our collective future for their short-term, record profits.

    What about “Corn Ethanol Looters”? When will we stop appeasing those assholes?

  14. Again, it’s nice to see the people whose default assumption is coercion as first and only choice.

    1. Whether or not coercion is the only choice isn’t relevant. It’s the choice TransCanada is using:

      http://articles.washingtonpost…..eystone-xl

      1. Exactly. Fuck Transcanada right up their rent-seeking asses.

        1. Anything “Trans Canada” is pretty much guaranteed to be rent seeking. I mean look at the CPR.

          1. Canadians’ love for socialized “crown corporations” is bizarre. Some Canadians get so defensive about them that it is like you challenged their birthright.

            1. Erm…Transcanada isn’t a crown corporation nor is the CPR for that matter. However there is a lot of corporate welfare to corporations for nationalistic reasons.

              That said the love for Crown Corporations (and home grown corporate welfare queens) is due to the supposed fact that trans-Canadian institutions aren’t economically viable, the fact that said Crown Corporations save Canadians from foreigners (read: Americans) and that the Americans don’t have them so having them makes us different and Canadian.

              1. I’m Canadian and can’t stand Crown Corporations or that provincial liquor boards like the SAQ in Quebec exist.

                I hate the CRTC even more.

                Gladstone is correct. It’s more of a mythical “piece of mind” ruse of believing Americans won’t take us over.

                But we’re pretty much a branch plant economy anyway.

  15. It’s also agreed to encase the pipeline in cement and post a $100 million bond to cover any possible cleanups.

    Over the past two years, we’ve had to spend $600 million in tax payer dollars cleaning up the Talmedge Creek pipeline rupture in Michigan. I’m supposed to be secure because a company has pledged to clean up 20% of their own mess while pushing the rest on me?

    1. That pipeline is 41 years old. The enginneers recognized a problem 5 years before the rupture, but failed to address the problem then. Hopefully the pipeline industry can learn from this.

      Besides, the oil is going to market somehow. If not by pipeline, then it will ship by rail. Oil shipping by rail is growing at astronomical rates at the moment because the pipeline isn’t being built — and the chance of spills on railways are greater than pipelines if I understand it correctly.

      Buffet owns the railroad. I wonder if we’ll see emminent domain problems when they want to upgrade or build new tracks?

      1. *eminent* domain.

      2. Someday Keystone will be 41 years old, maybe before some of the landowners die.

        1. The existing pipelines on their land will be even older.

      3. Buffet is no Hill. Buffet loves his crony capitalism.

  16. If the pipeline is stopped by landowners (and/or “activists”) the oil will still be extracted; it will just end up in rail cars.

    Total win for Defenders of the Environment.

    1. Perhaps they should build refineries on the North Dakota border instead of schlepping it all the way to Texas, seizing property the whole way down.

      1. You would be happier if land was seized to build a highway?

        1. Not really, but at least the landowner gets use of the highway.

          1. He gets more use out of his land over the pipeline RoW.

          2. People forget that adequate highways existed before the interstates were built.

      2. Unless North Dakota gets a port on the Gulf of Mexico, that ain’t gonna happen.

    2. Fuck that. Lines of people with buckets from the border to the Port of Houston. Full employment!

  17. Sort of on topic, I was listening to a pretty interesting BBC radio show about ice ages, a lot of new stuff there for me, I haven’t paid much attention to this since I was a teenager.

    Anyway, since it’s the BBC I was expecting the usual AGW stuff but it didn’t happen until the very, very end and it was pretty amusing. After talking about how much change has happened, with CO2 levels at 8-10 times higher in earlier epochs, they ended up with a question about AGW and the two female geologists desultorily complained that it was a big problem, one them saying that it could stop us from going “smoothly” into the next ice age. The third geologist said CO2 didn’t matter, the Earth has been in a greenhouse state for 80% of its existence, and even if it did matter we could easily geo-engineer a solution. I was really impressed with the whole thing.

    1. ?we could easily geo-engineer a solution?

      We are already geo-engineering a solution. Unfortunately it may be the correct solution to the wrong problem.

      1. The USA alone is emitting some 5 billion tonnes of heat trapping gases every year into an atmosphere which is entering a greenhouse phase.

        It might be smarter to save all this CO2 for a few million years until the advent of the next icehouse phase. It might come in handy, geo-engineering wise.

        1. Millions of years? The last ice age only ended around 12,000 years ago.

          The next glaciation period will not be millions of years from now and we probably will not be able to stop it no matter how much fossil fuel we burn.

          We’ll need more advanced technology. And we probably will have it unless politicians get us all killed before then.

          1. Thought millions of years sounded more “geological.”

        2. And yet we’re down to late 90’s levels of CO2. Maybe it’s not us that’s the fucking problem?

          1. First step in the collectivist handbook of course is to find a suitable scapegoat. Only then can progress be made.

    2. one them saying that it could stop us from going “smoothly” into the next ice age.

      And that’s bad how, exactly?

  18. Eminent domain should be severely limited, particularly if it primarily benefits a private entity. Affected property owners should receive appropriate compensation for the use of their land; ongoing lease income as well as an initial lump sum payment. I don’t see any libertarians other than the ones in your head advocating the “theft” of land for the pipeline.

    It’s interesting to see the environmental Left wrap themselves in the cloak of hard core property rights advocacy and jingoistic nationalism, when it suits their purposes. How hard are they fighting to protect farmers from the use of eminent domain in California’s high speed rail boondoggle? A rail line is a permanent loss of surface terrain, unlike a pipeline which will be mostly buried and not a long term impairment of use.

    1. If a property owner doesn’t voluntarily agree to a given compensation then it is by definition not “appropriate”.

    2. Private property and eminent domain cannot and do not coexist, despite fantasies to the contrary.

      1. ESPECIALLY when ownership of private property is determined solely by who can use the property most profitably.

    3. It’s interesting to see the environmental Left wrap themselves in the cloak of hard core property rights advocacy and jingoistic nationalism, when it suits their purposes.

      It’s also interesting to see supposed defenders of private property embracing the most socialistic and fascist tendencies of the government -eminent domain- because they think it’ll piss off the “environmental left”.

      1. Exactly. There is plenty of grounds to criticize the “environmental left,” but one can’t deny there is complicated overlap between property rights and environmental rights. Neither side gets it right most of the time, but in this case, the greens are completely in the right. Profits and economic growth is not an excuse to trod on property rights, period. Also risk of environmental spills on their property is definitely is a legitimate subject for these property owners to question.

        1. This is the way pipelines have been built since long before there was an “environmental left” to piss off.

          1. Linear stuff wan not always built with eminent domain. Of course, eminent domain was the norm by the time pipelines came around.

            1. The system isn’t perfect but opponents are acting like it is some new outrage that arose just for the Keystone pipeline.

              1. Perhaps that’s true for the average environmentalist leftist using the argument, but libertarians have always been firmly against eminent domain

  19. The estimated reserve of economically extractable oil in Albertan tar sands is 173 BILLION barrels – with a B. Three orders of magnitude make a difference. http://www.environment.alberta…..alance.pdf on page 2

  20. #6 – for all their faux embracing of mother gaia, the greens could give two shits about the planet or the environment or anything beyond the torpedoing of capitalism. That is, fundamentally, what this is all about. The enviros are and have been where all the far left statists have migrated as their various -isms become distasteful to talk about in public.

    These are the same people who, because of some ridiculous fish no one has ever heard, screwed mightily with CA farm country. They are the same people who caterwauling has birthed the ethanol industry and its totally foreseeable (if not intended) cost of higher grain prices. And these are the same bullshit artists who continue to insist that man is singularly responsible for global warming or climate change or whatever new term they’ll invent after the current are is found wanting in spite of very limited and totally circumstantial evidential to that end.

    1. Libertarians have plenty of cause to oppose these rent-seeking fucks. Oh yeah, and fuck the Koch Brothers who claim to be anti-government and then use government to seize property for their private profit.

      1. The fact that the enviros oppose the pipeline itself as supposed to eminent domain probably encourages the defenses of Keystone despite the fact that there is plenty of corporatism involved with it.

        1. That’s as stupid as LibertyMike and Raimondo defending Hagel and criticizing Rand Paul for blocking his nomination solely because Hagel “pisses off neoconservatives and AIPAC.”

          Ad hominem.

          1. Well they are Rockwellians and the Rockwellians do tend do gush over whatever Evil Corporation of the Month since usually said demonization is a call for more regulations and statism that empowers the USG. And we all know they think defeating the USG is the be-all and end-all of their philosophy.

    2. I blame them for the rise in price for Canadian Bacon. It used to cost $5.99 and now $6.29 up here.

      Cost of transportation gets passed on to consumers. Another thing these dopes don’t seem to grasp. Worse, they don’t seem to mind or care.

      1. Maybe it’s because you are wasting so many letters by misspelling “Ham?”

  21. Eminent domain should be severely limited, particularly if it primarily benefits a private entity.

    But it’s not. Transcanada is using it all over the place to force people to give it land to build the Keystone XL pipeline. When you support building a pipeline, the plan for which includes eminent domain abuse, you are supporting eminent domain abuse.

    1. But…why do you hate jobs and the economy you anti-capitalist swine? /sarcasm

      1. Or you know, you could support the idea of the pipeline without supporting the eminent domain abuses. Because we do the same damn thing with hundreds of other things every day on here.

  22. force people to give it land

    citation needed

    1. So if I put a gun to your head and make you sell me your land at $1 that’s not forcing you to give it away?

    2. We’ve included multiple links and you can also use Google. Transcanada eminent domain cases are happening all across the country. I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but it’s not surprising the Koch-chaired Reason Foundation wouldn’t point out their boss’s huge motherfucking hypocrisy.

      From Wikipedia about the pipeline:

      In February 2011, environmental journalist David Sassoon of Inside Climate News reported that Koch Industries were poised to be “big winners” from the pipeline.[59] In May 2011, Congressmen Waxman and Rush wrote a letter to the Energy and Commerce Committee which cited the Reuters story, and which urged the Committee to request documents from Koch Industries which relate to the Keystone XL pipeline.[60][61]

      Landowners in the path of the pipeline have complained about threats by TransCanada to confiscate private land and lawsuits to allow the “pipeline on their property even though the controversial project has yet to receive federal approval.”[62] As of 17 October 2011, TransCanada had “34 eminent domain actions against landowners in Texas” and “22 in South Dakota.”

  23. I put a gun to your head and make you sell me your land at $1 that’s not forcing you to give it away?

    Since this is unquestionably exactly what is happening, I must defer to your compelling argument.

  24. This could be solved by using helicopters equipped with buckets to transport the oil.

  25. We’ve included multiple links

    I read your link. It had no information whatsoever about levels of compensation, or the methodology by which offers might be arrived at.

    Rigid ideological absolutism is fun, but the world is a complicated, messy place.

    1. So you’re for eminent domain as long as it’s “practical” and “common sense” because the world is complicated and you wouldn’t want to be accused of rigid dogmaticism?

      Feel the same way about gun control?

      1. and where exactly did brooks say that?

        1. I was paraphrasing/hyperbolizing. I just wanted to know if P wavers in his support of the 2nd in the same way that he does in support of private property rights.

    2. The world is only a complicated, messy place in the absence of rigid ideological absolutism (i.e. private property).

  26. “Kochtopusses. Why did it have to be Kochtopusses?”

    1. Hey, I’ve barely ever said a word of criticism about the Kochs until the Keystone actions demonstrated them as some of the worst hypocrites on earth.

      1. While they are in the oil and gas, and even the pipeline business, the Koch’s do not own any part of TransCanada or the XL project.

      2. Proprietist, I beg to differ.

        George Soros is a bigger hypocrite. He profits off the misery of nations.

        No comparison if you ask me.

    2. It’s Kochtopi all the way down.

  27. Feel the same way about gun control?

    Not abortion?

    I am disappoint.

    1. Well P, the world is a complicated and messy place, and there’s no room in it for 2nd amendment absolutism, especially among reasonable adults.

    2. You going to answer or dodge the question?

      We know the real world is tricky and involves conflicts of rights. In this case, TransCanada clearly has no right to my fucking property unless I choose to sell the rights to them. The assumption is that because my property was included in their plans, and their plans are good for the utility of the country and the economy, fuck me and my property. It’s not like I’m going to be getting free natural gas for my troubles.

      1. Threads like this make defending libertarian capitalism as distinct from corporatism.

        I don’t understand the difference between a basketball arena and a pipeline, other than lefties don’t like the pipeline.

        1. I’ve come to the point where I’ve stopped calling myself a capitalist because there is way too much confusion over the definition of the word. For starters, I think the corporate entity is intrinsic to capitalism and is a state-created legal entity that would not exist in a true free market. Adam Smith never used the word capitalism and was highly critical of the state corporations like the Dutch East India Company.

          Also, I think the word “capitalism” indicates a preferential treatment towards capital by the state. That leads to circumstances like this, where profits and economic growth take precedence over individual rights.

            1. Capitalism simply implies “capitalizing” on all opportunities, no matter their source. Free market more correctly defines the “rules” by which capitalism should take place.

  28. I guess I just missed the part about how these noble conservators of the land are being driven from their homes like Dustbowl Okies into the dark and freezing night by evil minions of teh moustache twirling KOCHSES.

    1. It’s their land and if you respected private property rights you’d respect their decision not to sell regardless of their motives. But you don’t so you won’t.

      But no, someone wants their land and it’s for the “public good” so they’ll take their medicine at the point of a gun.

      1. Especially because use of their land while under construction will be limited.

        1. Landowners are fully compensated for any loss in addition to being paid for the RoW.Construction progress is usually measured in miles per day.

          WTF is your problem with Transcanada? ALL pipelines are built this way so your problem should be with the entire industry.

          1. WTF is your problem with Transcanada? ALL pipelines are built this way so your problem should be with the entire industry

            My only problem is with eminent domain abuse. We’re able to import billions of gallons of crude from Venezuela and the Middle East without violating property rights, and convenience for a corporation is no excuse to take someone’s property against their will, regardless of that person’s motivations.

            Also, the land rental price that the government court sets may not meet the monetary value I hold on my land or the expected use of it, or potential future damages to my property’s sale value, or the risk of malfunction due to prior maintenance. Why the fuck should I have to accept their price?

            1. Yeah, your $800 an acre eroded cow pasture MIGHT be worth Manhattan real estate prices some day.Anyone who has purchased land in the past 70 or so years should know they might be compelled to sell an easement. Particularly if there are already pipelines or other utility corridors running through it.

              1. SIV| 2.17.13 @ 8:48PM |#
                “Yeah, your $800 an acre eroded cow pasture MIGHT be worth Manhattan real estate prices some day…”

                Sorry, third-parties cannot set prices; they are set between buyer and seller.
                Unless the third-party has a gun; I’ll bet you don’t want to be that third-party.

                1. Sorry, third-parties cannot set prices;

                  Lenders and insurance companies do it all the time.

                  1. SIV| 2.17.13 @ 9:07PM |#
                    Sorry, third-parties cannot set prices;
                    “Lenders and insurance companies do it all the time.”

                    Nope. No they don’t
                    In any of those cases, the two principals can walk away.
                    They don’t “set” prices any more than Target does; they “ask”.

            2. monetary value I hold on my land

              You may have heard that value is determined by what buyers and sellers agree to in the market. There is no other monetary value – though apparently you have a great sentiment for certain soil.

              1. Yes, the value of the land is determined by what the seller and buyer agree on. The seller is the landowner and the buyer is the government/TransCanada. So if the landowner is not willing to sell for the government’s estimation of the market value, then the value of the land is above that estimation.

                1. No, the value is what it will exchange for, not what one party deems it. If he says it is worth $100T it isn’t unless someone is actually willing to pay that.

                  1. Yes, so if it won’t exchange for a certain value and below that value, the value must be higher than that value. If it won’t exchange for a certain value and above that value, the value must be lower than that value.

                    The government paying some sum it estimates to be it’s market value has nothing to do with its true market value, which can only be determined if both parties agree on the price.

  29. It’s not like I’m going to be getting free natural gas for my troubles.

    That’s not surprising, since the pipeline will be carrying partially refined crude oil.

    1. The difference between capitalism and corporatism:

      TransCanada needs to negotiate with every landowner for an easement. Daniel Plainview style. Landowners may charge high prices, but that is simply the cost of doing business.

  30. Eminent domain is not innately an evil concept in the same way that say a mandates to purchase health insurance – which is unconstitutional, ethically wrong, and adverse to consumers. The fifth amendment, “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”, leaves me knowing the founders saw a public need for eminent domain, a need great enough they were willing to infringe on individual rights and carve out a government power in the same way they did elsewhere in the Constitution. It could be argued that eminent domain in the case of the pipeline shares similarities with public utilities: constitutional and a benefit to the consumer/public (benefit to the consumer is not a reason to infringe individual rights). Ethical considerations is the main issue. I am not opposed to the use of eminent domain for streets and utilities – I am opposed for the new ballpark, urban redevelopment, new Bass Pro Shop, or other corporate uses. When in doubt, I err on the side of individual rights (against eminent domain for the pipeline). But I’m still trying to decide whether or not something like a pipeline is similar to say a utility transmission line? Anyway, try not to eat me alive for trying to think through eminent domain’s uses and ethical implications. What is a lawful (and ethical) eminent domain in the vein the founders may have had in mind and what is just compensation?

    1. Fuck the founders. Eminent domain is theft. Period.

      1. Yeah, pretty much the only thing I’m willing to tolerate eminent domain being used for is for explicit Constitutional purposes. Oil pipelines are not mentioned in my copy of the Constitution.

        And as much as I love pissing off hippies, and as much as I love oil companies (I really do, they’re the ones who make the modern world move), I love property rights more then either. If a private company wants an easement, then the property owner can name his price.

        1. Oil pipelines are not mentioned in my copy of the Constitution.

          HAHAHA. Neither are military aircraft. And especially not drones.

        2. You do recognize that electromagnetic radiation is traversing your property 24/7 without any just compensation or discussion. Are you all butt-hurt over that? Why not?

          There are all sorts of ways your property is violated – electric lines, cable TV lines, sidewalks, helicopter overflights, etc.

          Eminent domain is not a black/white issue. The nature of the taking and the nature of the public use are important. When there are reasonable alternatives, the taking is much less justifiable. When the public use is exclusive the taking is less justifiable.

      2. So are taxes – go find a fucking anarchist paradise.

  31. If you’re not opposed to the idea of a pipeline in principle, you obviously are in favor of unrestrained and confiscatory eminent domain solely for the benefit of evul kkkorporations.

    1. I’m opposed to the pipeline because I’m erring on the side of the individual with an issue where I struggle with the nuances I mentioned.

      Eminent domain is a reduction in an individuals property ownership rights. And in some cases I agree with the founders, its an unfortunate necessity and, without their understanding, has ended up being essential to our industrial society. It exists and like all powers taken from the individual and granted to the government it should be feared, watched, and debated whenever exercised.

      So lay out the ‘principles’ of ethical eminent domain seen through a libertarian lens? What are some standards to apply to not just this one pipeline case, but more in general to roads, utilities, and projects that share many of the same characteristics as a road or utility?

      All this is something the article did a piss poor job of addressing, seems like Reason could do better laying in some libertarian fundamentals. Some of us come from converted Republicans and are still trying to digest, then something like this does nothing to add to a libertarian point of view.

      1. “If you’re not opposed to the idea of a pipeline in principle, you obviously are in favor of unrestrained and confiscatory eminent domain solely for the benefit of evul kkkorporations.” TLPB

        Isn’t this a little Statists debate tactic? Someone opposes a tax increase, they want to starve the children. Etc. Etc. I question where the ethical application of eminent domain is, THEREFORE, I agree with unrestrained eminent domain to benefit the kkkopoprations. Uhhh, make that square please?

        Could I have posed a more reasonable question to get a little nuance on where the ‘restraints’ lay with the ethical application of eminent domain? Fuck, no wonder libertarians have stayed in the political shadows.

  32. TransCanada needs to negotiate with every landowner for an easement.

    Please find where I said anything contradictory to this.

    1. Eminent domain should be severely limited, particularly if it primarily benefits a private entity. Affected property owners should receive appropriate compensation for the use of their land..

      Unless by “severely limited” you meant eliminated.

      1. Negotiations do not always succeed.

  33. Unless by “severely limited” you meant eliminated.

    Good luck with that.

    By “severely limited” I was referring to the Constitutional limit. I was inartful. In the real world case of the pipeline, I suspect those eminent domain lawsuits will end up in arbitration.

    Also, rather than uncompensated confiscation of land, I advocate ongoing payments to the property owners, either as a lease payment or as some number based on the value of the oil passing through the pipeline. And yes, that imposes a higher cost of doing business for TransCanada and the refiners and distributors, which means higher prices(!) at the pump (or the heating oil tank).

    I’m pretty sure there are not many people who believe TransCanada should be accruing all economic benefits associated with the project. I don’t.

    1. I like the idea of lease versus the permanent easement they acquire through eminent domain. Still not sure what ethical standards we’re applying though.

      1. Many early turnpikes were constructed by private companies who negotiated with property owners by offering them a share of ownership of the whole turnpike.

  34. Sorry grey, I was being sarcastic, and also making reference to the way my position has been treated petty much throughout this thread.

  35. I don’t get all of this eminent domain concern. How wide is the pipe? As long as they pay me some good rent, I’ll let them run it through my property. In case I want to sell my property for fair market value and no one wants to buy because I have a pipe on it, they need to agree to do that also. I don’t see the problem here. I think a lot of people just want something to whine about, because that is what they do best.

    1. What does you being willing to voluntarily let TransCanada rent your land have with people being forced to do so by law? What if TransCanada won’t compensate you for the value of lost use during construction and long-term environmental risk at a level that meets your satisfaction?

      1. I don’t believe that anyone should be forced off of their land, or be forced to do anything below market value.

        It’s a pipe, not a 12 lane interstate highway. It just seems that it would have minimal invasive impact on property rights.

        I only said that I think most people have a problem with this because they want to whine. And I still think that is true.

        1. If I were a farmer, I’d certainly be in the right to hitch about this in the middle of my farm. And even if the are anti-pipeline because they hate oil and capitalism, it’s still their own fucking property and TransCanada has no right to get government to seize it against the owner’s will.

          1. it’s still their own fucking property

            Skip paying your property taxes rent to the government and tell me who owns your property.

            Hell. Put an unapproved chemical into your body in front of a police officer and tell me who owns your body.

            Sorry, but in reality we’re all slaves to the men with the last word in violence.

            Life sucks. Then you die. Deal.

            1. “Sorry, but in reality we’re all slaves to the men with the last word in violence.”

              That doesn’t make me want to give ’em any more support.

            2. Fuck property taxes and taxes on existing assets.

          2. And even if the are anti-pipeline because they hate oil and capitalism, it’s still their own fucking property and TransCanada has no right to get government to seize it against the owner’s will.

            What if there was already an existing pipeline there when they bought it, they knew how the easement was acquired, and could reasonably expect any future pipeline would likely be co-located with the existing one?

            1. There is nothing wrong with recognizing the terms of an existing easement. Much but not all of Keystone is being done this way.

              1. They obtained an easement(under threat of eminent domain) next to an existing easement. There are all kinds of reasons (some of it bs) on why they can’t build in the existing easements

        2. “It’s a pipe, not a 12 lane interstate highway. It just seems that it would have minimal invasive impact on property rights.”

          The problem I have with this argument is that you end up being the third party in a transaction, and the value/price is set by the two involved parties.
          If one (the seller) says ‘I think it’s worth $2Bn up front and $2Bn/year rent’, that party has just stopped the pipe in its tracks. And as a third party, you have no business claiming the value is otherwise.
          So, yep, that oil will come out of the ground and I propose either XL gets 100% voluntary agreement for the pipe, or it gets transported by another means.
          The greenies still get screwed and the landowners don’t.

        3. This sort of argument is still part of the problem with the entire debate, the amount of impact on the property rights is not relevant. And we can’t foresee how great that impact will be over time – someday they may have been able to sell the land for a commercial development, but can’t because it’s got a giant pipeline that you can’t build near. Massive monetary loss unforeseen at the time of the ‘minimal’ impact to the then owners of farm land or whatever.

          The issue to most of us I think is individual property rights vs eminent domain – which in large measure has helped set the US positively apart from the rest of the world. I think the economics, public good, and environmental aspects have been covered extremely well, yet even Reason skipped over the ethics of eminent domain and the basic discussion of what projects should be applicable to eminent domain and which should not. Even if they are applicable by law, is that still ethical? And if applicable, what is ‘market value/just compensation’?

          Somehow I expect better at Reason.

          1. The issue to most of us I think is individual property rights vs eminent domain – which in large measure has helped set the US positively apart from the rest of the world.

            Sadly, totalitarian China has better eminent domain laws than the US. Stubborn property owners can hold out forever there.

            1. China also does not have property taxes. If you own a home you don’t have to pay rent on it to the government. Damn commies. So unfree.

              1. sarcasmic| 2.17.13 @ 8:27PM |#
                “China also does not have property taxes.”

                There’s a reason for that: No land is owned by anyone other than “the government”, whoever the hell that is.
                You can “own” the house you build, but not the land it sits on.

                1. There’s a reason for that: No land is owned by anyone other than “the government”, whoever the hell that is.
                  You can “own” the house you build, but not the land it sits on.

                  So their government is more honest than ours. Ours pretends like we own the land, and then charges rent.

                  1. “So their government is more honest than ours. Ours pretends like we own the land, and then charges rent.”

                    Bad as it is, I’ll still take the US over China. So far…

            2. Sadly, totalitarian China has better eminent domain laws than the US.

              Aren’t you the lying communist hippie.

              1. Conducive and insightful comment.

                1. China does not have “better eminent domain laws” than the US.

                  1. Maybe not, but it certain has more stories of successful holdouts against seizure.

                    1. So you are indeed just spewing shit as-you-go?

                    2. Really? Never mind all of those displaced for the Three Gorges Dam.

                      You can be an ideologue without being an idiot.

        4. “Market value” does not define a point at which force becomes acceptable.

  36. If we want to go farther down the rabbit hole, how do you characterize the ethics of a single land owner, or a small group of owners, whose intransigence causes financial harm to the willing participants in the project?

    Is that theft?

    Is there a cause for legal action?

    1. No, because it is their fucking property, period. Individual rights do not bow to economic utility. Perhaps TransCanada shouldn’t have started building until the secured the voluntary permission of all property owners in their path first.

      1. No, because it is their fucking property, period.

        As long as they pay their property tax – which is in that view just protection money to the gang called govt.

    2. The Late P Brooks| 2.17.13 @ 7:51PM |#
      “If we want to go farther down the rabbit hole, how do you characterize the ethics of a single land owner, or a small group of owners, whose intransigence causes financial harm to the willing participants in the project?”

      Kinda surprising from you.
      No, my refusal to sell or my statement of a price the buyer doesn’t wish to pay isn’t theft, and any “harm” caused by that is totally irrelevant to the disposition of my property.
      It’d be easy to construct a satirical counter example, and I’m sure you can imagine one yourself.

  37. Stubborn property owners can hold out forever there.

    I’m pretty sure that’s bullshit. A lot of people got cleared away for the benefit of the International Olympic Committee.

    1. I know it’s bullshit, having been there during the construction, but that doesn’t give the pipeline a free pass.

      1. Yeah, there are some publicized examples of hold-outs, but in Beijing, there were many more examples of the government simply tearing down old neighborhoods (hutongs) for the Olympic structures.

  38. Kinda surprising from you.

    At this point, I’m just bored.

  39. Fuck eminent domain and energy subsidies. Other than that, pipelines are fine with me.

  40. This thread reeks of patchouli.

    1. Its just the Kochtron trying to cover up reek of a pipeline gushing toxic ooze on minorities.

    2. Why do I get the idea that you are a dick?

      1. Because I don’t think Communist China has stronger protections against eminent domain seizure than the US?

        1. I was half-joking, super genius. Although it would be totally unsurprising if, instead of building a highway around an obstinate elderly couple’s house like they did in China, we’d send in the SWAT team to drag them out of their property kicking and screaming.

    3. Right, because all the people here complaining about eminent domain abuse are secretly hippies just trying to stop tar sand processing. Red herring for dinner, anyone?

      1. I know infrastructure, especially transportation. While less shit might have been built without eminent domain, that doesn’t mean nothing would have been built ever. An absurd amount of the railroads that were built with subsidies and eminent domain ended up being completely unnecessary and only contributed to poor financial health of the industry. Roads have ended up in a similar situation.

      2. You’re complaining about one particular pipeline out of tens of thousands of utility RoWs secured exactly the same way. Don’t pretend this is about just the Keystone pipeline. If you are going on principle you are opposed to every single pipeline,waterline, powerline, railroad, highway in the entire country that relied on the threat of eminent domain. That would be nearly all of them.

        1. Where exactly has Proprietist implied or stated that he’s only against eminent domain use for Keystone, and not in general?

          1. See nearly every comment of his in this thread.

            1. This thread is about Keystone, dumbshit.

              1. The original post was about Keystone. You are making a private property rights case against using the threat of eminent domain to secure RoW which applies to nearly every piece of linear infrastructure in the country. If you are arguing on principle you have to equally oppose every linear foot.

                1. “If you are arguing on principle you have to equally oppose every linear foot.”

                  Nope.
                  Only the ones taken.

                  1. All of it is acquired under the threat of taking. Even if the landowner wants the pipe/wires/road and the monetary compensation.

                    1. SIV| 2.17.13 @ 9:55PM |#
                      “All of it is acquired under the threat of taking. Even if the landowner wants the pipe/wires/road and the monetary compensation.”

                      Interesting point; the threat is equal to the application.
                      You’re right; eminent domain must go.

                2. And I ask again; where has Propietist implied that he’s only against this in the case of Keystone? He/she has made many general statements in this thread that don’t specifically refer to Keystone or TransCanada. And past injustices don’t justify injustices in the present or future.

                  I find it hilarious that you of all people are making this argument, given how much you love to criticize others for not being sufficiently libertarian

                  1. Proprietist isn’t arguing the case solely on private property rights. See all the “corporations, private profits, the environment, China isn’t as bad” stuff. Acquiring an easement under threat of eminent domain is not libertarian purity but it is long-standing law and custom where we are now. If you oppose it in this case oppose it in all.

                    1. I do oppose in all cases, sivypoo.

                      What’s next? I oppose eminent domain for building an arena and suddenly I hate sports and private profits?

                      Again, the China line was half a joke supported by links to extreme examples you’d never see protected in the US.

                3. You caught me. I support all other cases of eminent domain abuse to build pipelines, except Keystone which I obviously oppose because I am a patchouli-encrusted hippie who hates tar sands. Also, I love China.

                  1. You seemed to think government or “not for profit” eminent domain taking was OK.

                    1. I don’t know where that “seemed” to happen. I remember the post above about public use highways with caveat that I would “not really” be happier if the land was involuntarily seized for that purpose. I generally oppose ED for public use, and always oppose it for private use.

                    2. So by “generally oppose” you support eminent domain in some cases?

                    3. I might support a circumstance where private property is truly endangering the rights of others, like an abandoned chemical plant.

                    4. You seem to be retarded SIV.

                    5. Retards who don’t understand property law think so.

                    6. What don’t I understand about property law? Pretty stupid coming from the guy who thinks insurance companies and lenders set prices.

            2. SIV:
              SIV| 2.17.13 @ 9:07PM |#
              Sorry, third-parties cannot set prices;
              “Lenders and insurance companies do it all the time.”

              Sevo| 2.17.13 @ 9:20PM |#
              Nope. No they don’t
              In any of those cases, the two principals can walk away.
              They don’t “set” prices any more than Target does; they “ask”

        2. “If you are going on principle you are opposed to every single pipeline,waterline, powerline, railroad, highway in the entire country that relied on the threat of eminent domain.”

          Very good idea.

    4. Agreed. Anyone who actually takes private property rights seriously is obviously a pinko cosmotarian

  41. Death Rock and Skull| 2.17.13 @ 8:54PM |#
    “I know infrastructure, especially transportation…”

    That stuff really doesn’t matter; I can’t un-ring that bell. But I can keep it from being rung again.
    And there is no loss involved; that oil *is* going to be used for fuel, and it *will* keep energy prices lower than the alternative no matter how it gets combined with oxygen somewhere.
    Yeah, the jobs would help the US economy if it went through, but it’ll end up helping the world (and US) economy no matter where it gets burned or how it gets there.

  42. reason #5,629: Because the earth doesn’t have feelings you goddamn stupid hippies.

  43. This is all bullshit anyway. The reason the pipeline isn’t getting built is becuase Obama’s buddy Mr. Buffett owns BNSF Railroad and he’s making a killing hauling this stuff by train.

  44. I see that the usual suspects are coming out of the leftist, enchanted forest blabbering about how we’re all hypocrites and such. Are you really worried about eminent domain? Really? Where were you the last 150+ years? Just look at all the rail, road,power, and water lines that cover the country. Keystone XL is very minor compared to all these infractions, because at least the oil companies are generous with royalties. And for chrissakes, its underground. Eminent domain has been “abused” in much more outrageous cases, for example, a Mall.

    I think a few here *cough* Proprietist *cough* just look for an excuse to be opposite of Sean Hannity…

    1. “Are you really worried about eminent domain?”
      Make that “opposed”; yes.

    2. Yes, I am Reason’s resident China-loving green hippie Sean Hannity of the Left, because I certainly couldn’t be a consistent libertarian or anything.

      1. Still spewing shit I see. You were the one saying China enjoys more property rights than us. Everyone called your bullshit. Now you’re trying to laugh it off.

        Those who support easy access to abortions are not consistent libertarians. See what I did there?

        1. Never said China “enjoys more property rights than us”, you mendacious fuck. Nobody except Sevo responded to the high profile examples I posted where China didn’t throw obstinate property owners out of their houses.

          Those who support easy access to abortions are not consistent libertarians. See what I did there?

          Not really. Most libertarians agree to disagree on abortion, while the sanctity of property rights is pretty universal.

          1. Actually, the people in the house in the middle of the road were evicted and the house was torn down. The others have settled in court or probably will take a settlement rather than be evicted.

            1. I believe it. China is terrible on property rights and most things. But it’s strange that those with all the evidence to the contrary, including this very story, really seem to believe America’s respect for property rights is a whole lot better.

    3. Oh, and right now the same oil is being transported on rail car…which you guessed it, is moving on land that was entirely seized via eminent domain. A railroad…or a quiet, underground pipeline? Its the state of affairs we now live in.

      There, the entire “purer than thou” trolls have been defeated.

      1. SaltySeaCaptain(LAOL)| 2.17.13 @ 10:52PM |#
        “Oh, and right now the same oil is being transported on rail car…which you guessed it, is moving on land that was entirely seized via eminent domain. A railroad…or a quiet, underground pipeline? Its the state of affairs we now live in.”

        Well, not all of the land was, since at the time it was “owned” by the gov’t, whatever that means.
        Regardless, none of us can turn that clock back, and it certainly doesn’t tell us to repeat former mistakes.

    4. Tulpa, you exemplify hypocrisy in almost ever post, so shut the fuck up.

      No, I don’t need to list every example of eminent domain to be against one example of eminent domain. It seems like this meme comes up whenever you or some other retard has no argument against what others are saying: “Oh well I didn’t see you arguing against that mall in Bumfuckistan, so you must not be really against eminent domain!” Fuck off, dipshit.

      1. See ‘argumentum ex silentio’ aka ‘whiny Tulpa fallacy’

      2. Would the same group of people protesting the very limited use of eminent domain by TransCanada be just as huff puff about “protecting” the farmer’s land if it involved a new, high voltage line connected to a wind farm? Before Keystone, nobody (and still don’t) gave a shit about the farmer’s land, hence all the high voltage lines that cover this country that cut a 100 yard wide no-mans-land right through their property. Don’t get into this “holier than thou” bullshit. I hail from a family than has fought several attempted eminent domain seizures. No pipelines, just a fucking 3 phase, 150 yard wide high voltage line.

        1. But hey, at least the cosmos in Pittsburgh can light up their nightclubs.

        2. “very limited use”

          ‘We’re only taking *some* of your property!’
          Doesn’t help your argument; reads like a scheiss kopf post.

        3. Would the same group of people protesting the very limited use of eminent domain by TransCanada be just as huff puff about “protecting” the farmer’s land if it involved a new, high voltage line connected to a wind farm?

          Yes.

          Here’s a protip Tulpy-Poo: don’t pose your shitty arguments as questions. It just let’s people end the argument and see how stupid you are right away, when you could have at least been wasting their time. That seems to be the only purpose to your existence here.

          1. You ten libertarians and whom else? The progs certainly wouldnt.

            1. Good deflection. We’re talking about libertarians on this blog and now you’re trying to act like we’re talking about progs. Unfortunately, there is no overtime after that major mistake of framing your argument as a question. You lose the game. Enjoy your consolation prize: my dick up your ass.

    5. It’s not like they are even seizing property, it’s an easement. Like say, having power lines cross your property.

      And no, property rights aren’t absolute. For instance, you have to give right of way rights to people who happen to own land between your land and a public road. Otherwise they couldn’t be able to get on their land. Without a helicopter or maybe an autogyro

      Eminent domain is a necessary evil. Our whole civilization needs energy to run. Oil is one of the biggest sources of the energy. Would I prefer Thorium reactors? But then people would bitch about the power lines having to cross private property

      1. ^This

      2. JeremyR| 2.17.13 @ 11:05PM |#
        “It’s not like they are even seizing property, it’s an easement.”..

        SaltySeaCaptain(LAOL)| 2.17.13 @ 11:08PM |#
        …”very limited use”…
        ————————
        When did both of you decide you were the arbiter of value? Care to tell me what real estate is worth in, oh, Columbus, OH? San Francisco, CA?
        I’m sure both of you know exactly what a 3-unit rental property is worth in both markets, right?
        OK, put your money where your keyboard is; let’s see it!

        1. An easement is in infringement on property rights, it reduces the utility of property. When someone gets an easement for a road, the property owner may still have fee simple interest, but his bundle of rights and utility is reduced. An underground easement is not different, your splitting hairs to make the seizure sound more palatable. It’s the difference between breaking a handle to my teapot and breaking a lid, you’ve still lessened the utility of my teapot and infringed on my ownership of the teapot – even if you’ve been so kind as to leave my teapot Why is everyone making these sideways arguments instead of debating the ethics and applicability of the Keystone pipeline under eminent domain? Instead, we’re debating which type of theft is better. Holy fuck, I’m missing the intelligent libertarian debate I’ve grown to admire on the Reason blogs that pointed me to Bastiat and Locke.

      3. And no, property rights aren’t absolute.

        Yes they are absolute. That’s why they’re called rights, not guidelines.

        Eminent domain is a necessary evil.

        Which is just another way of saying the ends justify the means. Now the only difference between you and the progressives are the aesthetics.

        1. Your right to your property evaporates pretty fucking quickly if you don’t pay the tax on it.

          1. And you think I support that?

            1. Your right to property evaporates pretty quickly without the govt to enforce it. That is why we have the govt.

              1. A right being violated does not mean it ‘evaporates.’ If you think the government is the source of rights, you have no reason to complain when they are taken away at the whim of the state.

        2. Which rights are absolute under our Constitution or even natural law? I think you’ve veered into the absurd.

          Even in a perfectly libertarian society, aren’t many individual rights hemmed in by harm to others?

          1. Which rights are absolute under our Constitution or even natural law? I think you’ve veered into the absurd.

            The libertarian concept of rights is inherently an absolutist concept. Our concept of rights only includes negative rights, so they can’t conflict with one another. For example, my right to swing my fist ends at your right to not be hit by it. So because their boundaries are clear, they don’t overlap/conflict. And within their defined boundaries, they are absolute.

      4. JeremyR| 2.17.13 @ 11:05PM |#
        “And no, property rights aren’t absolute. For instance, you have to give right of way rights to people who happen to own land between your land and a public road.”

        You’re kidding, right?

        1. No, I think he is merely mistaken but there is plenty of ignorance to go around when it comes to what property rights are in law and reality rather than what they are in some ideal world.

      5. For instance, you have to give right of way rights to people who happen to own land between your land and a public road…

        No, in most states the law takes the position that if you are stupid enough to buy a piece of landlocked property, tough luck.

        No, to be sure, most states now have laws that require you to provide access to any piece of property that you sell, but that’s a different matter. That pretty much makes landlocked property unsellable but such parcels do exist.

    6. “I think a few here *cough* Proprietist *cough* just look for an excuse to be opposite of Sean Hannity…”

      This is ironic, cause from reading this thread one could think that certain posters care more about blindly opposing leftists than consistently supporting libertarian principles

  45. Since the pipeline hasn’t been built yet, are we speculating about eminent domain abuse that might happen?

    I’ve read about eminent domain abuse cases at Reason. Most of them involved the government bulldozing functional businesses and houses to build humongous convention centers that was supposed to revitalize the local economy. If I remember correctly, some of these owners weren’t even properly compensated.

    A pipeline shouldn’t take up that much space. And I doubt it will come anywhere near residential areas. I’m guessing that the pipeline will be built along midwestern-ish states like Nebraska because there are lots of unincorporated areas there.

    Why don’t we approve of the project first, and then address eminent domain issues as they come? Doesn’t the government have the authority to build utility poles and underground power lines? We’re running low on money around here.

    1. XM| 2.17.13 @ 11:22PM |#
      “Since the pipeline hasn’t been built yet, are we speculating about eminent domain abuse that might happen?”

      Because the threat of seizure is equal to the seizure.
      No true ‘negotiation’ is possible under that circumstance. If I hold the gun and suggest you agree with my terms, did you agree absent coercion?
      Nope.

    2. Again,they’ve already initiated at least 56 eminent domain actions against property owners in their path.

      1. Holy fucking dog shit, a whooping 56 cases!

        1. One is enough.

        2. If only Tulpa would reveal the secret to goal-post teleportation, we might not need this pipeline after all.

          1. There is no way on earth this fuckface is Tulpa. I’ve had many conversations with Tulpa and know how bad he can be at times. He’s usually pretending to be a reasonable contrarian. But he’s definitely a few tiers above this troll.

            1. It’s definitely Tulpa. Same writing style, same stupid arguments, same (LAOL) at the end of the name. Ask him yourself.

      2. Waaaa! Waaaa! TROs Waaaa!

        56 across a whole continent isn’t shit. That indicates they are offering very fair compensation.

        1. Except to those that refused. I’d like to hear someone define fair compensation, or as the founders described it, ‘just’?

          A comparable sale is no good. What if I’m smarter than my neighbors and foresee a future use that will escalate prices? What if it interferes with my use of the property and makes it so that I won’t be able to enjoy my property? What if I just don’t want to deal with anyone on my land because I have a propensity to hate other fucking people and that’s why I live in the boondocks? You can’t ‘fairly’ compensate someone who you’re stealing from, especially something as unique as property. No two pieces of property are alike.

          This is why I’m siding with the individuals over the government/corporations who are in bed together using eminent domain. My issue still remains is how different is this pipeline from a utility transmission line? The closer it approximates the necessity and characteristics of a utility transmission line, the more I lean towards reevaluating my position.

  46. OK, I tried this earlier, but…
    WIH is anyone wedded to the pipeline? It doesn’t matter economically other than some minimal change in direct vs indirect gain, except to those seeking rents.
    That oil is going to be oxidized; silly greenies can’t do a damn thing about that. Why should anyone support eminent domain seizures to make it go through the US?
    Who CARES?

    1. Who CARES?

      Retarded concern trolls like Tulpa.

      1. Just pointing out the nonsense being spewed by you and your other two dumbfuck accounts.

        1. Tulpa, I have no alternate (non-joke) accounts, you hypocritical douche. Oh my mistake, you’re SaltySemenCaptain.

          You’re “arguments” have been utterly destroyed, so shut the fuck up and make me a sandwich.

        2. Jesus fuck Tulpa, using troll accounts? Fucking seriously dude?

          Yeah, you’re getting added to my reasonable list. If you’re going to engage in that kind of bullshit you aren’t worth engaging at all.

    2. Its either on railcar or pipeline. Rail companies don’t have to do much in order to seize property since rail has almost always been entirely laid down on eminent domain property. A pipeline, on the other hand, has much less (if any) medium to long term impact than rail and is much cheaper.

      Or.. all of the oil can be shipped to China via oil slick-vulnerable oil tankers, and refined in Chinese refineries instead of American refineries. Now you can spew your globalist bullshit, but I’ll pose the question directly- do you want to be a producer or consumer….or both?

      As for me, I would financially benefit much more from the Keystone XL not to be built. It just makes us 3rd Mates that much more in demand.

      1. So eminent domain yesterday justifies more eminent domain today. Fucking brilliant, dumbfuck.

        1. Nope. I agree with the premise that in ideal situations (everybody, including the rail, Public Utilities, etc.) would have to either pay up (just the cost of business, eh) or find a different way.

          However, saying that Keystone should not go forward even when the overwhelming amount of property owners have agreed to TransCanada’s offers is pure fucking stupid. 56 cases of eminent domain is nothing when its in context of every large project. Just like every so called purist libertarian, you cannot differentiate between real and ideal worlds. And yes, since you are indeed a dumbass with no grasp on law or property law, let me slowly and carefully explain this to you…decades and decades of previous cases of eminent domain does totally justify a current eminent domain dispute. Again, its you who does not grasp that this is the current state of affairs, not an ideal one.

          1. TransCanada should offer a lease/royalty is all I’m gonna end this on. But they do have a eminent domain case if they so chose to.

            1. It is a one-time payment. By the foot. That isn’t counting the other compensation for fucking up the landowners’ income from use, access roads,free fences w/ maintenance for the life of the pipeline and sundry other payments if you’re a crazy old man or a lawyer.

          2. No, that’s just retarded. We are arguing about ideals, not what is. There is no argument over what is occurring, only about what should be occuring. Justification is a moral, idealistic concept. No one here has argued that eminent domain isn’t legally justifiable. If that is you’re entire argument, then you are saying nothing relevant to the topic at hand. Of course, that isn’t you’re entire argument, you’re also arguing about ideals, you’re just too stupid to realize it:

            TransCanada should offer a lease/royalty is all I’m gonna end this on.

            Should offer? I guess you can’t differentiate between reality and ideals, retard.

            1. This is why Dunphy pisses off so many people. He justifies everything because precedent says so.

        2. decades and decades of previous cases of eminent domain does totally justify a current eminent domain dispute

          In other words, 7+2=11 and oranges are orange, therefore just the tip isn’t rape.

          1. I have decades of law and precedence I’d like to share regarding the war on drugs.

            I have to agree, nothing is added once we agree it’s lawful, that moves the debate to the application of principles. Otherwise, we’re no different that the socialist pigs that would like to precedence their way our slavery to the State. Principle and ethics is what differentiates libertarians. Which is what makes this debate so frustrating, too many are circling justifications that are an aside to the issue.

  47. So whaddaya know the right-libertarian vulgarists at tReason support corporate rent seeking and eminent domain. Why are the so-called property rights advocates attacking the great left-libertarians James Hansen and Barack Obama.

    Of course the posters here reveal their own biases. You know Transcanada wouldn’t be in a position to use eminent domain it isn’t wasn’t for the Interstates, the Union Pacific, automobile patents, WWII, Spanish Colonalism, British Colonialism, French Colonialism, Mexican Statism, Indian wars, the Civil War, suppression of the Metis, airplane patents, steel patents, pumps patents, The National Energy Plan, The National Recovery Act, Army Engineers, FEMA and corporate personhood. Conveniently no one has mentioned these. Typical.

    1. Shut the fuck up Tulpa.

      1. “Left Libertarian Barack Obama.” I spit my coffee choking. Sure, Statists, big spending, big taxing, mandate making, rule by fiat, secret death drone killer shares what in common with Libertarian ideology?

        Calling Barack Obama a left leaning libertarian is like calling Barney Frank a homosexual leaning heterosexual.

        1. Holy motherfucking crap! Obama in the same sentence as libertarian?

          Holy shit you ARE ret-ahded!

  48. I will cut you a deal, Nick. You can have the pipeline under two conditions:

    1: No eminent domain. We are libertopians here, right?

    2: The oil cannot be subsidized in any way. All subsidies to the oil industry must be removed and all externalities internalized before the pipeline approved.

    Deal?

    1. All subsidies to the oil industry

      Which subsidies are those?

      1. I’m eager to hear this as well. Perhaps you’re thinking of ethanol?

    2. What in the hell are “oil subsidies”?

      There is no such thing.

  49. Please note that the oil sands reserve is in BILLIONS OF BARRELS NOT, NOT, MILLIONS!!!!

  50. My issue still remains is how different is this pipeline from a utility transmission line? The closer it approximates the necessity and characteristics of a utility transmission line, the more I lean towards reevaluating my position.

    I don’t believe there is much of a difference, in reality. Electric transmission lines may popularly be considered a special species of “public utility” but they are owned and operated by evil kkkorporations, and transport and distribute energy to consumers. This oil pipeline may have a few more steps, but ultimate effect is similar. The real question is the definition of their “public benefit”.

    As for the preference for a pipeline as opposed to surface transportation, I believe the pipeline over the long term is much more efficient, cost effective, and safe. It would be interesting to see a comparison of spillage and loss as a percentage of volume for pipelines versus surface transport.

    Since I’m not adamantly opposed to pipelines in principle, that obviously means I’m a big fan of eminent domain; always and everywhere.

    1. Yes, clearly you’re a Statist like myself. I agree, not much of a difference between the function and ultimate ownership vs transmision lines. So why does this eminent domain bother me more than transmission lines? I feel like there is an ethical difference, but I can’t put my finger on it. You’d have thought if Nick posted this bullshit he would have at least tried to point me in the right direction. There must be other small government, fiscally conservative, recovering NeoCon’s that are still trying to apply ethics instead of dogma that need a little help.

      The article reads like an RNC talking points memorandum.

      1. Sorry to break it to you, but if you support eminent domain under any circumstances then you are a statist.

        1. So all of the founders were Statists?

          I said it earlier in the thread, even natural law/rights is not absolute with regards to individual rights. So someone is a Statist who believes in ANY of the Constitutional carve out that created government powers? I’ve been saying that libertarianism is not anarchy – because of the built in belief in the natural limits to individual rights when considering ‘harm’ to others and a belief in necessity for limited carve out of individual rights to create a government that can have some utility to the individual. The government cannot defend a contract without some powers granted it, nor can it defend against aggressor States without some powers granted it. Your absolutism is a dead end. I’d love to hear your definition of Statist and what if any government carve outs you’d envision in a perfected libertarian government (or are there no powers granted a libertarian government)?

          1. So all of the founders were statists?

            Maybe. I don’t know exactly which parts of the Constitution each one supported.

            natural limits to individual rights

            Individual rights are restrictions on what one may do in regard to another. They can’t have limits. They are limits.

            absolutism is a dead end

            That wrongly implies that rights exist to serve a purpose.

            The government cannot defend a contract without some powers granted it

            Contracts specify the powers that one party or the other is granted in the event that it’s violated. The power comes from the contract, and need not involve a third party such as government.

            nor can it defend against aggressor States without some powers granted it

            Of course it can. You’re just being silly now.

            1. All true, and a less than thorough application of negative rights; although I don’t think it goes to a complete disagreement in principle, but more a difference on my part in application of natural law ethics.

              I can’t envision a society where contract law serves the individual without the existance of a third party court system. If one party refuses to fullfill the terms of the contract – are the only recourses the use of force by the aggrieved party or acceptance of the breach? A court system is government and a court system seems integral to the peaceful resolution of contract conflict. So you lost me with, ‘no third party’. I’m not confusing society and government; I’m speaking to the critical point where they meet.

              Also, not sure why I’m being silly when I think a government requires certain powers granted it in order to maintain an army to defend against aggressor states. Aggressive states are known to exist, pillage, and seek to take ownership of others property.

              So why I mostly agree with your dissection, I’m not sure I agree with what I interpret as its sum: Individuals are better off with no government.

              I think individuals are better off with a severely limited government that includes powerful checks and balances and constant watchful pessimism of its citizens. And this puts me back to this blog debate, the ethics of eminent domain which have remained unaddressed by most.

              1. A court system is government and a court system seems integral to the peaceful resolution of contract conflict.

                A third party court system can exist without violating rights, as long as its involvement is allowed by the contract. In other words, as an arbiter that’s been voluntarily given the power to enforce its decisions. I wouldn’t personally call that “government”.

                The third party isn’t necessary though. If you and I make a contract that includes you giving me $100, you renege on that offer, and there’s nothing in the contract specifying how disputes are handled, then I have every right to hold my own gun to your head and take the $100.

                not sure why I’m being silly when I think a government requires certain powers granted it in order to maintain an army to defend against aggressor states

                Sorry, I shouldn’t have dismissed it so casually. Given how much Americans love to “defend” America, I easily believe a voluntarily funded military could exist. And a military doesn’t need specially granted powers to fight a defensive war. Fundamentally, it’d be no different than a home owner defending against an intruder.

                I think individuals are better off with a severely limited government that includes powerful checks and balances and constant watchful pessimism of its citizens.

                “Better off” is subjective, but it’s certainly possible that limited government would be better by most peoples’ standards than no government. That doesn’t make it ethical.

                1. Yes, by my standards if government supports natural law, then it does make government more ethical than any alternative I can conceive. It seems much of what you describe is government by another name or a government free society that has no agreed rules but with individuals deciding each day on each occasion a new ‘contract’ between them and leaving all who reside in this government free society susceptible to well documented violences by other collectives of people. Other people will form government and other governments will commit violence, until I see a different reality, then I think it behoves me (and for my children) to form a government and grant it certain limited powers to help defend me. There are other, I’d argue, as necessary government functions, but one at a time with the few words we get. One of which may or may not be eminent domain.

                  We are born into a government, whose Constitution and Laws we did not choose. but by place of birth. However, assuming an extremely limited natural law based Constitution, born from negative rights with few powers granted government. Assuming you have the right to travel to other governments and take any capital you’ve earned or inherited, then I think its the best possible utopian results taking into account human nature. I’d need help taking my imagination further.

                  1. I may be getting it wrong, but the sum of your comments, with a militia based ‘home defense’ seems comically naive on this planet Earth against nuclear armed organized standing armies which can project deadly force globally. A voluntary contribution from each individual, collected how and by whom? And how is an adequate military kept trained, do they need bases, who owns the bases, what is that collective called? I’m all for a new facet on ethics and how it should apply to an individual and how we restrain collectivism. But an argument against organizing into groups for mutual benefit seems to border on the farcical.

                  2. This is the sum of the argument between minarchist and anarchist libertarians. The one says that a society without government implies justice is optional, the other says that a government of any sort is incompatible with a truly just society because it must impose its will on involuntary subjects.

                    Both are probably valid criticisms, but given scarcity, we have yet to figure out a social system that satisfactorily addresses both criticisms.

                    I’ve been a minarchist for a long time, but I’m moving towards the anarchist position as I realize that accounting for human nature makes the argument less relevant.

                    If you fundamentally trust human nature, it seems silly to argue that we won’t form a just society of our own accord.

                    If you fundamentally distrust human nature, it seems silly to argue that giving a small number of fallible persons power over everyone else will lead to a just society.

                    1. Very helpful, thank you. I had not seen the term minarchist. I wiki’d it, but will have to find more somewhere. It’s amazing how my existing views and arguments slide neatly into the minarchism definition. I barely mentioned the pivot point on a person’s view toward ‘human nature’, but that seems to be a key factor in understanding why one would hold one view vs the other, when both are based on nearly the same principles.

                      Also interesting, how the non-violence principle (which dove tails to human nature) is another key discussion and pivot point when trying to decide which side of the fence you’re on.

                      Thanks again for boiling it down and getting me (us) out of the weeds. It also adds clarity to arguments through some of the other Reason blogs.

        2. Oh, boo-hoo, I’m a statist. If the alternative is anarchist never-never-land, then kiss my ass and call me a statist.

          1. So even if “anarchist never-never-land” could exist, you’d still choose statism? Got it.

        3. Kind of disagree. Again, I can see the case for eminent domain in the case of an abandoned property that is endangering the safety, property and health of the neighbors. There is no question there are conflicts of property rights and one of few legitimate roles of government is sorting those conflicts out.

    2. Since I’m not adamantly opposed to pipelines in principle, that obviously means I’m a big fan of eminent domain; always and everywhere.

      No one is accusing you of supporting eminent domain always and everywhere. We’re accusing you of supporting it in this case, which you are and which you shouldn’t.

      Also, you’ve made the equally stupid converse argument that since we haven’t been sufficiently loud about other eminent domain actions that we’re hypocrites for opposing this one.

  51. And, of course, the only reason the threat of eminent domain is the first tool out of the toolbox is that “we”, over the past two hundred and fifty years, have allowed the rent seekers and “lobbyists” to induce the Congress and the Courts to expand the definition of what constitutes a public “benefit” into unrecognizability. The problem is not the pipeline, it’s the perversion of the law.

    If TransCanada (or BP, or the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe for that matter) could not assume success in the courts for their eminent domain attempts, they might be likely to try more innovative negotiating strategies.

    1. Glad you finally agree with us, sort of. It only took 20 hours.

  52. It’s hard to get a lot of philosophical nuance in a two minute video (which I never even watched).

    If it can avoid being some sort of standard issue cable news shouting match, it’s uniquely sophisticated.

  53. We’re accusing you of supporting it in this case, which you are

    Sure, whatever.

    1. Sure, whatever.

      I has am beat by superior intellect.

  54. I’d would be nice to never see the words narrow, limited, or any other language inferring limited damages. From what I’m reading we’re talking about an easement that could be both above and below ground between 60′ to 120′ wide that may permanently disable the original oweners future (or current) use of the property. Can we dispense with all arguments that attempt to minimize how much we may damage the land owners interest? There is no way to know the extent of damages to each individual, to some it may completely destroy the way of life they’ve chosen. Land is unique. I’ll say it again, how much you steal from them is not important, it seems to me the argument has to begin with whether or not this theft is legal, and if so, is it ethical?

    1. The legality isn’t important either. We’re all well aware that precedence has made basically any use of eminent domain legal. Ethics is the only thing that matters.

      1. Legality is not important, true. With regard to XL the precedence and prior use of eminent domain is legal or, if not, will be made legal. So it’s only the ethical considerations of whether or not eminent domain is at all ethical and if it is ethical, in what applications?

  55. No #1 Reason why Reason shouldn’t be supporting this b.s. project: eminent domain.

    1. “b.s project”

      Oh, okay. So I guess the entire electrical grid should be demolished? No? Why not? The entire grid and public water was built entirely with eminent domain. 56 cases of eminent domain is nothing, and actually shines pretty brightly on the side of TransCanada…..considering that the vast majority of landowners along the 1,700 mile, continent spanning pipeline, struck a deal with the EVUL TransCanada. A “public utility” or a road project would just seize and damage (a pipeline is at least underground) much more land with little or no retribution.

      1. Demolished? No, for the same reason I don’t support seizing all land owned by American citizens and returning it to Native American tribal ownership, even though I wouldn’t have supported taking it from them in the first place; and for the same reason I don’t support cutting Social Security and Medicare out from under those who currently depend on it, even though I believe we need a better system, and preferably one that doesn’t depend on coercive wealth redistribution. We’ve had 100 years of the rest of the country homesteading an easement to the right-of-way through your land.

        But it pisses me off to see a flagship publication for “party of principle” abandoning deontological ethics in favor of cheap economic utilitarianism in order to jump in bed with the first billion oil-industrialist to write them a check.

    2. You must be the same breed of Paultardness that calls Reason, tReason, for not being “non-interventionist” enough.

      Most of us here are realists, and look to further libertarian causes whenever possible. Keystone XL is a very good example of an infrastructure project being very generous and accommodating to land owners.

      There are certainly times when being a purist libertarian is admirable. This is not. Putting immediately to work tens of thousands of struggling workers without government handouts or subsidies is a definite net positive. In addition, the energy infrastructure is improved and expanded.

      1. Putting immediately to work tens of thousands of struggling workers without government handouts or subsidies is a definite net positive

        Eminent domain IS a handout.

      2. “Most of us here are realists, and look to further libertarian causes whenever possible.”

        Supporting eminent domain isn’t a libertarian cause, just because you like the oil and natural gas industries. Your argument makes you no better than the leftists who argue that “in the real world, we have to have (insert government program here) and there has to be a limit to individual rights, blah blah blah.” What would your opinion of eminent domain use be if we were talking about a solar plant, or wind farm? As I said earlier, this thread has shown that some people care more about blindly opposing leftists than actually consistently following libertarian principles, which they will throw out the window as soon as it benefits something they like

        1. Bingo, we have a winner. Though I think you probably also missed the Koch-connection as a contributing factor, rather than just being desperate to spite the lefties.

          1. I wasn’t talking about any of the Reason writers. I was talking about certain commentators

      3. There are two classes of “libertarians”:
        Those who actually believe in the non-aggression principle and free markets, and those who only believe in them when it seems financially beneficial to them.

        Eminent domain IS a government handout. Only I am entitled to determine what my land is worth to me, and if I say “cough up $500 million or go around”, then libertarian ethics says I can put a bullet in the first person to put a shovel across my property line without my say so, and only the coercive power of the state is going to stop that from happening.

        Your argument isn’t any different from the b.s. utilitarianism that libertarians are supposed to abhor.

        1. Why is eminent domain a government handout, if the government (or private company working with the government) properly compensates the landowner for using his property?

          I’m against eminent domain abuse, not eminent domain. It would be wrong for the government to forcibly take over land from 56 landowners to run a pipeline, and maybe that’s about to happen. But that might addressed by diverting the route elsewhere.

          I don’t understand where the controversy is coming from. I won’t get outraged simply because someone offered to buy my property. If they used government to force my hand, that’s another story.

          1. Because the government, and not the landowner, is determining the value of “proper compensation”, which is not how a free market works. Your determination of value may be totally outrageous by “market-rates”, but it isn’t any less your right to refuse to enter into any contractual exchange of property for a lesser fee.

            Eminent domain is, by definition, the government forcing your hand. I’m not going to get offended by someone offering to buy my property either, but *that* isn’t eminent domain.

            See, for example, http://www.texastribune.org/20…..-backlash/

          2. Again, don’t make the mistake of confusing economic utilitarianism for libertarianism, even if a lot of traditional libertarian allies make their case based on utilitarian arguments about free markets rather than on deontological arguments about the non-aggression principle.

            1. Good thread. It doesn’t mean there are not good utilitarian arguments for supporting the pipeline, we just can’t pretend while making those arguments that eminent domain comports with libertarian principles.

      4. Keystone XL isn’t infrastructure. With a road or a bridge, at least any member of the public can make use of it as it’s a public facility. This pipeline is not going to be available to anyone but TransCanada.

        1. Railroad? Water Pipes? Aqueducts? Power Transmission Lines?

          Dumbass. A pipeline is at least not visible, and does minimal damage to the property. A road, rail, or power line project on the other hand..

          1. How do you know it does ‘minimal’ damage?

            Bullshit. It could cost a land owner or their heirs millions of dollars in lost opportunity. The easement is very wide and in some case visible. A land owner is restricted on what future grading they can do, which can impact many more acres than just the easement area. You can’t know the damage is minimal and who are we to say it’s okay for the government damage some person we don’t know?

            Once again an XL supporter that refuses to make an ethical argument in support of XL, instead using one of the two techniques (a) minimize the cost to those that are sued under eminent domain (b) show the good to the collective. Argument (b) carries a little water, but doesn’t address libertarian principles. If I wanted the false choice debate I’d go to an MSNBC or Fox blog, I expect better at Reason.

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  57. On helping the economy, the real effects are in helping refineries and keeping the cost of energy supplies secure and the cost of energy low.

    Yes, it is a global market in energy, but since we’re a large and relatively inelastic market, securing our energy supplies will reduce the risk premium for others as well. Also, when the energy is here, we don’t have to pay transportation costs. And we’ll gain economies of scale with increasing production from our own energy supplies.

    It’s a no brainer, so the usual no brains are against it.

    1. You’re using “We” and “Economy” in the same fashion Obama does in his speeches for bailouts and stimulus. Does that make you at all question what principles lay behind your support?

      You cannot support the pipeline for “we” and for the “economy’, without also supporting the government’s power of eminent domain. This has been my issue and where I’m most tested on drawing hard lines in what I believe are adequate enough powers carved out for the government. Of course capitalism is great, supply and demand, increased energy security, jobs, but in order to build this XL alter to capitalism we have to first kill a few virgin land owners. I just can’t bring myself to put the knife to their throat for a ‘greater good’.

      If someone is going to win over more libertarians, they must first establish the ethics of eminent domain and it’s limits. Then those ethics and limits must apply to the XL pipeline. I’ve seen nobody do this yet, this is where the argument starts.

      Argument does not start with minimizing the perceived damage to the land owners and justifying the utility to “We” of the pipeline. Those are secondary arguments that must fall in line behind ethics. Am I wrong?

      If the good exists (sufficient US demand), then it will happen without eminent domain. I say err on the side of the individual and we’ll be okay.

  58. I will reiterate: Fuck eminent domain. Whatever has happened in the past should be considered sunk costs and used as an example of why it should not be done again. The talk of “it happened before, so doing it again will be fair” is like reparations- repeating wrong things will not make a right.

  59. If you feel so strongly about the evils of fuel usage, then stop being a hypocrite, stop using fuel.

    If, on the other hand, you drive, use lights after dark, heat or air-condition your abode, use a computer/cell phone, then you don’t get much of an opinion of where that energy comes from unless you are willing to do without.

    And by-the-way, you don’t get to speak for me.

    1. So not supporting Eminent Domain = Belief fuel use is evil/all of us will live in the dark? You’ve gone off the rails.

      For those that support the use of eminent domain for XL, I’m still waiting for ANY arguments that support the ethical use of eminent domain. It’s constitutional, we have precedence, and so it will or will be made legal enough to happen. That’s settled, what’s not settled is whether it’s ethical and fits with libertarian principles. But those in support of eminent domain won’t bother to square it with libertarian principles. I have to conclude, it doesn’t square.

  60. like Edith implied I’m alarmed that some one can profit $9203 in 1 month on the computer. have you seen this website http://WWW.FLY38.COM

  61. Kickoff to you with the online store 2013

  62. Reagan. if you, thought Lucille`s blurb is surprising, on friday I bought a great new Acura from making $9447 this last five weeks and-also, ten-grand this past month. it’s certainly my favourite-work I have ever had. I began this eight months/ago and pretty much immediately began to bring in minimum $74.. per hour. I follow this great link, http://www.WOW92.com

  63. They’ve already filed for 21 cases of eminent domain (not exactly Tea Partyish). 100% is Canadian crude and 100% is to be piped to an EXPORT facility. They have yet to make any formal agreements to link to any U.S. facilities. The only benefits to the U.S. are temporary construction jobs (and more for our over taxed, outdated refineries to manage); exactly the same thing we complain about ‘Bamy’s infrastructure stimulus spending.

  64. While I like Reason on a variety of issues I would take what they say about transportation and energy with a grain of salt. The oil and auto industry are the beneficiaries of largess corporate welfare. pipelines such as this make extensive use of eminent domain. Reason, Cato, Heartland, and heritage are all funded by the Koch’s as well as the Rockefellers. Those groups are front groups for the Oilgarchy.

  65. This is the Worst “Big Oil” mentality article I’ve seen in a long time.

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