LaVerne Johnson 11-5-2015 LTE Press-Citizen

Boone pipeline not a done deal

Boone County supervisors deserve an “attaboy” for passing the resolution against the pipeline.

Even though the pipeline is rigged and greased, the pipeline is not a done deal. Let’s get a grip on reality. The Dakota Access Pipeline is a private, forprofit, limited liability company and is not sponsored. Nor is it a requested project of any agency or department of national, state or county government. Therefore it should not be granted the the “hammer” of eminent domain.

Several private property owners, who have hired attorneys to defend their property against eminent domain, have asked me what else they can do. My answer is simple, with three common sense suggestions: 1. Avoid buying gas from Conoco-Phillips 66. Don’t buy parts or machinery from Caterpillar, John Deere, Vermeer or any other company supporting the pipeline, and calmly tell them your reasons for not doing business with them.

2. Contact the lieutenant governor, your senators, representatives and supervisors. Calmly state your opinion on protecting private property. Don’t bother with Gov. Branstad. I fear he is not on the side of private property owners, and I have told him so.

3. Thank the pipeline folks for coming to Iowa and spending money, like we do when we visit Texas, and also for showing us how poorly our present laws and how our legislators protect private property in Iowa.

It’s time to impress upon our legislators the value of private property owner rights. For a starter, they should repeal 479B.15. The Iowa Constitution states “we have the right to protect and enjoy our property.” We property owners should do so.

The IUB could have saved Iowa property owners a lot of time and money by first classifying this pipeline for what it is … a private project that does not qualify for the the “hammer’ of eminent domain.

Pilot Mound is one of the friendliest towns around, where you can still get a cup of coffee at Deck’s Station for a quarter.

It’s difficult to be nice when harvesting my crops and defending my property at the same time.

Respectfully, an Iowa property owner, taxpayer and voter.

LaVerne Johnson Pilot Mound

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