In a victory for opponents of the Keystone XL, a local judge on Wednesday struck down a law that would allow the tar sands pipeline to pass through Nebraska, the Associated Press is reporting.
Republican Gov. Dave Heineman approved TransCanada's pipeline over a year ago, but in aruling today Lancaster County Judge Stephanie Stacy states that Nebraska's Legislative Bill 1161, which allowed for pipeline companies to go around the state's Public Service Commission to get approval, is unconstitutional, and therefore the governor's action was "predicated on an unconstitutional statute" and as such is null and void.
The ruling siding with the three landowner plaintiffs means that "TransCanada has no approved route in Nebraska. TransCanada is not authorized to condemn the property against Nebraska landowners," stated Dave Domina, an attorney who represented plaintiffs in the case, in a media release.
"Citizens won today," stated Jane Kleeb, director of Bold Nebraska, cheering the ruling.
"We beat a corrupt bill that Gov. Heineman and the Nebraska Legislature passed in order to pave the way for a foreign corporation to run roughshod over American landowners. We look forward to the Public Service Commission giving due process to a route that TransCanada will have to now submit to this proper regulatory body in Nebraska. TransCanada learned a hard lesson today: never underestimate the power of family farmers and ranchers protecting their land and water," Kleeb stated.
Link to original article from AlterNet
Mark Pocan has spent the last 13 years in the Wisconsin State Assembly representing one of the strongest progressive districts in the state. Yet his political roots took hold in blue-collar Kenosha, Wisconsin where he got his start at age eight delivering campaign literature door-to-door for his father, a long-time city alderman.
Pocan learned about ALEC in the only way he could — he joined — making him one of its few Democratic members. Once inside he saw firsthand how it operates and then, much to the organization’s displeasure, he let us in on its goals and strategies.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Wisconsin state Rep. Mark Pocan has been to several Democratic Party national conventions, but none as important for him as this one. Pocan is poised to succeed U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, who is giving up her seat to run for the Senate. Although he faces Republican challenger Chad Lee in the fall election, an upset is highly unlikely -- Lee is vastly underfunded in the overwhelmingly liberal district.
State Rep. Mark Pocan has, since his election to the state Legislature in 1998, been a leader in the fight to educate and engage citizens with the struggle over the failed "free trade" consensus. While trade agreements are negotiated -- usually in secret -- by presidential administrations and voted on by Congress, there are highly significant consequences for states.
WI-2 Mark Pocanwww.pocanforcongress.com/