When there is an argument about money, don’t try to make it into an argument about morals. Reply in kind.
Some corrupt federated and incorporated fake “county governments” have seen a way to line their pockets with money from pipeline company and oil company profits. So they cut a deal allowing these corporations to put a pipeline through.
The problem for these corrupt “county” organizations is that they are just franchises (like Dairy Queen franchises) of parent corporations in the governmental services business. They don’t actually have anything to say about it if the people form their own unincorporated land jurisdiction country assembly and say otherwise.
We dealt with this same problem in Nebraska, but did it intelligently.
We called public meetings in the affected counties. The people came from miles around. The options were fully disclosed. The people said— hey, okay, you want to put a pipeline through our land? First, we want $800 million as an Accident Insurance Fund, deposited in these local banks under the control of these three designated Insurance Fund Trustees appointed by us to provide immediate clean up and spill control in the event of any accidents. Second, we want another $500 million infrastructure improvement fund deposited in these local banks (X, Y, Z) to pay for all the infrastructure that needs to be built in support of the communities impacted by these activities. Third, we need a PILT, a Payment in Lieu of other Taxes, to pay for public education and ecological monitoring and increased county services…..
The oil companies and pipeline companies don’t understand morals or ethics or the need for clean water or peace or decency or anything else. All they understand is money. And when the people who actually own the land stand up and make them an “offer” that they can’t swallow—an offer that costs them too much to make their pipeline profitable— they readily back away and find other ways to transport oil.