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.
The problem with Standing Rock is that people aren’t using their common sense and aren’t replying in-kind to these weasels. The oil and pipeline companies are talking oil and the people are talking water.
The other problem is that the people in these counties are letting fake counties— incorporated “counties” that have only a “proprietary”— that is, “caretaker” role and interest, to make deals “in their behalf”—- which are contrary to what the people who actually own the land want to have happen.
This like hiring and paying somebody to run your cattle ranch, then having him decide that he wants to raise sheep instead, and you not having brains enough to correct your own employees.
Hello? These people work for you. You are paying their paychecks. If you don’t want to raise sheep on your land — or in this case, don’t want the profit from letting a pipeline cross your land— tell the pipeline companies the truth.
The land belongs to the people, not the County Commissioners.
So the pipeline companies made a deal with the wrong folks. Turns out the actual entitlement holders of the land don’t approve of what their hired help agreed to.
Hold a public assembly of the unincorporated county in each of the impacted counties, that is, the actual counties where actual people live, not a ”county” that exists only on paper. Describe the options. Put it to a vote. Make the pipeline company an offer that it can’t possibly make money on, and watch them re-route their operations. It’s simple. It’s easy. There is no reason for all this drama and people getting hurt.
So stop this stupidity, please, or don’t complain to me. All the oil companies and pipeline companies want to do is make money off your resources. Deny them that opportunity by making the price of doing business too high in your area, and they will happily trot off into the sunset and go elsewhere.
These numbnutz want to make money off of resources that belong to you, and to some extent you may need or want to develop those resources—- or not. It’s up to you. So instead of milling about like dumb cattle going to slaughter, or sitting in front of bull dozers howling at the moon, get up on your feet and call a lawful assembly of the people living in the impacted counties and take care of your own business the way you want it taken care of.
It’s only your inaction and your seeming inability to direct your own employees that is causing this problem— plus the lack of a little practical savvy when it comes to dealing with business offers that you don’t want to consider.
When a commercial business makes you an offer and you don’t want to accept it—- (as in, “I’ll build a pipeline through the middle of your sacred ground and pay these other guys a lot of money for the privilege.”) there is no need to be ugly or impolite. Just make a counter-offer. (like, “Sure, you can build your pipeline through my sacred ground for a trillion dollars, payable immediately.”)
Can the pipeline company complain that you have done anything wrong? No. Can the “county” complain that you don’t have the right to put any price you want on your own property? No. Can anyone bulldoze even a blade of grass without your consent as the entitlement owners of that actual property? No.
So learn how to deny your consent.
Those county officials are pretending to “represent” you and your best interests. They aren’t doing the job, are they? So hold a public assembly, say so in public, and either reprimand them as your employees and demand that they withdraw their offers made in “your behalf” or fire them on the spot.
This is not rocket science, but it does have rules and procedures that are obvious and easy to follow. Post Notice of a Public Assembly of the land jurisdiction County open to all living people and lawful residents to be held (where) and on this day and when. Whoever shows up, rules. Whoever stays home and watches re-runs of “I Love Lucy” drools.
No protests required. No attack dogs. No stun guns. No commercial mercenaries or other thugs. Just put your demand on the table as the actual entitlement holders and make the cost of moving through your county so stiff that the rats suck wind clear back to Boston. Faced with a few billion dollars additional cost, they will vanish like morning mist.
And as for the “county” that isn’t a county and all those “federated” county officials, they have nothing to say about what you do with your land once you speak up and tell them what you want done. They are just employees, caretakers, on your payroll. If they don’t do exactly what you wish, you go tell their Congressman—– the King Rat responsible for their misbehavior and misadministration of your property and resources while they are “residing” here and pretending to “represent” you and your best interests.
Demand that he or she straighten this mess out tout de suite.
Tell them that you held an assembly of the actual land jurisdiction county and the people living in the actual county said—-hell, no, we don’t want any pipelines here. We entitlement holders took a vote and told the pipeline company that it would cost a trillion dollars up front if they want to cross our land. They haven’t paid up and your local yokels are trying to go forward with this nonsense. Time for you, Mr. Congressman, to get involved and administer this yourself.
And, by the way, you are under contract to do exactly what we say with regard to our land and our resources, without argument or question. Once the local unincorporated land jurisdiction body politic has spoken, there is no higher authority and nobody to appeal our decision to.