The Diamond Arkansas land grab

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When dealing with snakes and fakes, be careful with fakes

A pipeline from the Cushing Plains All American terminal to the Valero Memphis Refinery is not a common carrier. A pipeline between two points is a private pipeline. Diamond is a land grab at high-cost, high-risk, without benefits for Arkansans. Private, out-of-state corporations, using threats to take private property, should not benefit from a deceitful project.

Diamond pledged to build a truck unloading facility in Van Buren County, Arkansas, for the receipt and transport of oil by multiple potential users of the pipeline. Diamond took private land claiming to have the power of eminent domain granted to common carriers. Where is the ghost facility? Let’s dig deeper.

Is it too late to stop the project?

It is never too late to stop a pipeline based on lies. Now is the best and last chance to reclaim your land. Diamond paid for 50 ft.-wide easements, they did not buy the farm. Place a straw on a sheet of paper parallel to one edge. Move the straw to see the corner Diamond took from your land. The trees are gone, the pipes are in the ground, and toxic shale crude will leak near the line. Diamond will contract security patrols and aerial surveillance on the right-of-way.

Landowners tried to stop Diamond condemnations. Why try again?

The questions today are about real estate contracts, not oil pipelines. “Easements taken by fraud, by a private oil pipeline pretending to be a common carrier, are null and void,” according to a real estate law expert. Diamond has the burden of proof. Diamond needs to show pictures of the truck unloading station, tariffs filed and posted with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, a list of shippers, and would have to increase the capacity of the pipeline to keep the Valero refinery running.

How many landowners does it take to stop a pipeline?

One. Diamond took 280 miles of easements in Arkansas. One inch will stop the pipeline. The first landowner will be remembered as the Diamond Water Guardian. Other landowners will follow. Arkansans will gain respect and our grandchildren will grow healthy and safe. Oklahoma and Tennessee Water Protectors will join the celebration.

What are the strengths of landowners?

Real estate issues are decided by Arkansas County Courts. There are 14 counties and over 1,000 landowners on 280-miles of the right-of-way. The top 184 Arkansas real estate lawyers are listed by county in Justia.com.

What is the status of the project?

The Diamond project is a mess. Diamond’s strategy was to contract land acquisition agents to grab properties on the path of the secret route, claiming to have the power to take the land.

The 2016 Diamond Petition to the Arkansas PSC to construct navigable water crossings says, “All affected landowners have been notified and the property interests necessary for the crossings have been obtained.” There is no supporting evidence of this whopping claim. Only nine redacted easement documents were submitted with surprising differences. Diamond has not disclosed the list of the landowners on the rights-of-way. Public notices were posted in county newspapers advising landowners to respond within 30 days or have their properties condemned. County records are sometimes incomplete; out-of-state landowners may someday wonder why the trees are gone.

How will Diamond respond?

The petition for public support and the updates on the Diamond Pipeline website are an attempt to win the hearts and minds of Arkansans, people who say, “we need gasoline for our trucks.” The claims are biased and non-binding. Case in point: The Diamond Pipeline First Responder Grant Program for communities on the rights-of-way awards around $6,000 to rural fire departments who send in an application. Diamond will not pay for toxic crude oil spills when a pipe breaks, but fire stations get a picture with a lousy check from Diamond.

How can Diamond win?

Diamond wins if all the landowners and the communities near the line ignore the facts herein. Why not choose a better future?

Dr. Luis Contreras

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