Fracking: Beneath The Ground, Above The Law
We can now add a new item to the list of dangers posed by the poisonous practice of fracking: imposing on the Bill of Rights. Dominion Resources (Dominion), the same company that brought us the Cove Point LNG export facility in Maryland, has filed suit against a number of residents in Virginia who refuse to allow them on their property to survey a proposed pipeline route that would stretch to North Carolina through West Virginia.
Dominion believes that they are within their rights to trespass onto private property based on a Virginia state law, Section 56-49.01 of the Virginia Code, which stipulates that "Any firm, corporation, company or partnership may make examinations, tests, hand auger borings, appraisals, and surveys for its proposed line or location of its works as necessary for the selection of the most advantageous location or route." The law further stipulates that gas comapnies can conduct these surveys on private property even if they have not been granted permission by the owner, as long as they inform the owner of their intent.
Just imagine this for a second. At any given time, a bunch of petroleum pirates can essentially impose on your property rights; and all they have to do is "let you know" that they intend to do so. (Perhaps by shouting "Avast" as they leap your picket fence?"
The slippery slope fueled by greasy greed is almost scarier than the other dangers associated with fracking. This practice seems to all but eviscerate the 5th Ammendment of the Bill of Rights, and could lead to a constitutional fractastrophe. Make no mistake, Dominion's plans are nothing more than a direct assault on property rights and an attempt to expand the eminent domain process. What strikes me the most is that the code is largely backed by Republicans, the same party that frequently touts the problems of "big government" imposing on the will and rights of the people. In this case government could not be any bigger and the fact that the Republicans are not crying foul adds up to one big fracking hypocrisy. So much for invoking the founding fathers, many of whom will literally be rolling in their grave as the fracking process could lead to more earthquakes and other seismic events that will upset their grave sites.
I thought the frackers went too far when they decided to operate near schools and public parks; or even when they successfully lobbied Congress to block protection of endangered species located in their path of destruction. However, it now appears that there is no limit to how far they will go to bleed our planet and environment dry. We'll be watching this case closely and determining how best to support the constitutional rights of property owners in Virginia and across the nation, because while fracking may be associated with what's beneath the ground; we must never allow this climate killing process to become above the law. For starters, you can sign this petition urging Governor Terry McAuliffe to scrap this uconstitutional section of the Virginia code in the name of the environment, due process and liberty.