By RANGE contributor Tom DeWeese
Grassroots Activists Are Winning Battles Against Powerful Green Forces
“The global forces are just too big and powerful. There’s no way to stop them. We are locked out of the process. Our elected officials just won’t listen to us!” This is what I hear every day from activists who truly want to stand up for freedom – but, instead, are looking down in defeat.
STOP IT!!! We have just won a major victory in Iowa as the Navigator Heartland Greenway has announced they are pulling their request from the Iowa Utilities Board to build the carbon capture pipeline. This is a direct result of dedicated grassroots activists standing up and fighting back, demanding the protection of their private property from an arrogant and powerful private corporation that didn’t think mere peasant citizens could stop them.
For the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the most dedicated activists in Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Nebraska, fighting to stop the most idiotic of environmental schemes of all time – to bury CO2 in the ground under the excuse of protecting the planet from global warming. I say idiotic because CO2 is not a pollutant, it’s a natural and necessary source of food for our plants. A true environmental scientist knows that. Only greedy corporations seeking to fill their pockets with our tax dollars, and political zealots determined to impose a radical agenda support such lies.
Meanwhile, in North Dakota, state regulators, responding to pleas from farmers, denied another corporation, Summit Carbon Solutions, a route permit for its carbon capture pipeline, as it threatened to seize private farmland for the project. Minnesota is considering similar action.
As opposition began to build against the two pipeline projects that are to crisscross the five states via 2,000 miles of pipeline and the threat of taking thousands of acres of vital private farmland, the politically connected corporations began to take an arrogant stand against their opposition. First, the corporations tried holding public meetings to “help the people to understand the true purpose of the pipeline.” However, nearly every meeting, in every targeted state, became packed with local citizens voicing strong opposition to the plan.
I personally barnstormed Iowa and South Dakota, urging locals to stand up in opposition. I was most adamant that county supervisors take a stand to protect their citizen’s property rights. Many of the elected supervisors responded and began to take action. Two counties in South Dakota (Brown and Spike) passed temporary moratoriums, blocking construction permits. In North Dakota, another county passed a resolution blocking building unless 100 percent of targeted property owners voluntarily agreed to allow their property to be taken.
Obviously, the corporations grew nervous and apparently decided that enough was enough and the opposition must be stopped. That’s when Brown County, South Dakota experienced a shocking incident. So-called surveyors for Summit Carbon Solutions suddenly appeared unannounced on the property of Brown County farmer Jared Bossly, a strong opponent of the pipeline. Jared never met or talked directly with the surveyors, yet, they walked across his private land, including his small farm shop and other areas that had nothing to do with the pipeline path planned to cross the property. After leaving, the surveyors reported that Bossly had threatened their lives. There was a trial and Bossly was not found guilty of such a threat, but the judge put a restraining order on him, denying his right to interact with Summit employees whenever they might again invade his property.
Then two weeks later it happened. Summit sent another team to his property, complete with armed guards and huge equipment designed to drill 90-foot holes into his soil. They drove this monster equipment over his soybean and corn crops, damaging them. There was never an explanation provided by Summit as to the purpose of the act or the reason for the digging of the deep hole.
However, the true purpose was obvious. Intimidation. Not only as a warning to Jared Bossly to stop his opposition to the pipeline but to all others opposing the project. To all farmers the message was clear, keep it up and this will happen to you.
If it truly was Summit’s plan to intimidate and silence the opposition, it has backfired in spectacular fashion, The action against Bossly enraged the farmers and they rallied in the South Dakota State Capital, held a rally of several hundred on the capital steps, and filed more than 2,000 petitions demanding that their property be protected from Summit’s actions. Several state legislators took up the cause and helped in pressuring fellow state representatives to join the cause as it gained national media attention.
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