Climate Denier Rethinks after Being Clobbered by Keystone
March 21, 2013
Michael Bishop, a self described “ultra conservative” Texas landowner, discusses the attempt to take over his property for the Keystone XL pipeline.
His jarring experience with Transcanada, the pipeline builder has caused him to rethink his stand on a number of issues, including climate change. Many climate deniers claim to be conservative – they’re not. Forcing the largest change in the earth’s atmosphere in 60 million years is not conservative. Neither is taking private land and threatening to put an honest citizen in jail if he resists.
“..So I’m fightin’ em, we’re going to win, and they’re going to have to dig the the damn line up, period.”
UPDATE: More about Michael’s fight from EcoWatch:
Dogs are territorial and bark at the wind blowing, leaves moving, sounds miles away, strange vehicles and people coming onto your property. I don’t care where you live in the world. That is their nature. My dogs are scared to death of these giant machines and bark every time the workers crank up. It is a constant “parade” of TransCanada’s vehicles up and down the line. The construction of Keystone XL is only 120 feet from my house and aside from the rumbling and noise from the engines, the dogs barking for almost 10 hours per day is irritating, to say the least.
Recently, two of my grandchildren, who are used to playing anywhere in the front they want, wandered into the work area, which caused my heart to drop. I’m telling you, these people don’t care about anyone or anything now, but by God, they will.
I came to East Texas nearly 30 years ago after spending all of my teen years and most of my adult life along the Houston Ship Channel, working in the oil refineries and chemical plants. I see beauty everywhere but I really like East Texas in the springtime. I bought this property to leave to my children and grandchildren—a legacy, if you will. With my sons, and now my daughter, I have done my best to instill in them the responsibility of stewardship and how to properly take care of Earth and its creatures. I went outside to check the fruit trees in my orchard last week and, as I have for 30 years, marveled at the beauty of the blossoms on the pear, cherry, apple and peach trees. I also had tears in my eyes, because only a few feet away is the pipeline that is going to carry some of the most toxic material found on Earth.
I take great pride, as a biologist and self-proclaimed naturalist, in the native plants I have protected and nurtured for more than 20 years. My wild irises, which are phenomenal, have been buried by TransCanada’s excavator and although they will live, it will be another year before they bloom again. It is all so sad and shameful that I am at a loss for words, to be quite honest. It’s profits over everything else, especially Constitutional rights.
This pipeline is being built despite massive protests and lawsuits by honest, hardworking landowners and concerned U.S. citizens. In retrospect, I should have ignored my lawyer and the lawyer for the Texas Veterans Land Board, stood my ground and never settled. I was in a situation where my back was up against the wall, with a wife who has Alzheimer’s and a teen-aged daughter, and the attorneys involved led me to believe I had no choice but to settle. Hindsight is always 20/20, but looking forward, the facts in my lawsuits are irrefutable.
I claim, in my suit against TransCanada, that they have defrauded the American public, misled Texas landowners and have no right to eminent domain based on the material they are transporting. What I find extremely sad and unbelievable is that once members of the public became aware of this company’s deceit and contacted the appropriate legislators and regulatory authorities, no corrective action was performed. The Texas legislature did not call for an investigation into this matter and the Texas Railroad Commission (the pipeline operator permitting agency) turned a deaf ear to this problem. I use the word “problem” because it is a “problem,” not an “issue.” Where are all the people who took sacred oaths to protect the public?