Your Views: Residents deserve protection from eminent domain abuse

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letter to the editor
Thursday, October 26, 2017

I was glad to see the Sept. 19 press release from Reps. Amy Loudenbeck and Mark Spreitzer with the heading, “Lawmakers Support Budget Provision Limiting Eminent Domain Power for Railroads.” Great Lakes Basin Transportation had applied for a 200-foot-wide easement on its 261-mile rail line proposal. Pipelines could have been buried in the corridor, too.

Eminent domain is the procurement of private land for public use. I am concerned that in Wisconsin private property is not protected from for-profit oil pipeline and rail companies. Corporations are abusing the interpretation of “public use” to increase their own profits.

Thank you Reps. Loudenbeck and Spreitzer for sending this bipartisan message in regard to rails! I feel that our Legislature should expand on this to include pipelines—especially tar sand oil pipelines.

A way to let our legislators know our concerns is to have local governments pass strong resolutions to reform eminent domain laws in Wisconsin. Wood County passed such a resolution in August, and Walworth County followed suit on Oct. 10.

Please encourage your county board and city council members to send strong resolutions to Gov. Scott Walker and legislators, asking them to protect us from eminent domain abuse!



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