The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

August 11, 2012

Letters to the Editor: Aug. 11, 2012

Daily Star

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Eminent domain is required to serve the public good

As proposed, the Constitution Pipeline will run through considerable private property, and those landowners who do not agree to allow the pipeline to go through their property will be subject to eminent domain.

Eminent domain is intended to be for the public good, and the following is extracted from an executive order from President Bush in 2006.

On June 23, 2006, President George W. Bush issued Executive Order 13406, which stated in Section I that the federal government must limit its use of taking private property for "public use" with "just compensation," which is also stated in the Constitution, for the "purpose of benefiting the general public."

The order limits this use by stating that it may not be used "for the purpose of advancing the economic interest of private parties to be given ownership or use of the property taken."

Although that is the federal standard, it would seem that the state standard should be just as high. If so, wouldn't it then appear obvious that if the gas transported through this pipeline is indeed for the public good, that it must be entirely for domestic use?

If the gas were to be exported, then the use of eminent domain would not have been for the "purpose of benefiting the general public," but for the purpose of private profit for the gas industry.

Losing one's property through the process of eminent domain would be bad enough, but to lose it so that a private entity can reap a profit from that loss would be simply outrageous.

Ken Empey

Richfield Springs