Hey, Charlie Johnson? Has Energy Transfer Partners offered you a deal like this to build the Dakota Access pipeline across your farm?
A landowner from southeast Iowa today said he has recorded proof a land agent for the proposed Bakken Pipeline offered to get him an 18-year-old prostitute if he’d grant access rights to his property so the pipeline may pass through.
…Hughie Tweedy of Montrose said he recorded two of his conversations with the land agent.
“On these recordings you will hear evidence of my senior pipeline representative offering me not once, not twice, but three times the sexual services of a woman,” Tweedy said, “the last time being a $1200 teenage prostitute” [O. Kay Henderson, “Southeast Iowa Landowner Accuses Pipeline Agent of Improper Offer,” Radio Iowa, 2015.05.11].
An Energy Partners spokesperson says the company is investigating. Tweedy is being pretty specific in his claim. In his Iowa statehouse press conference yesterday, he said this wild offer came not from some loose-cannon land agent, but someone closely involved with the company:
“Here is a quote from my recordings: ‘My family, my grandfather started the company, helped start the company back in the late ’80s and my grandfather, mother, my best friend, brother — we all work for ‘em.’ End of quote,” Tweedy said during the news conference.
Tweedy first met with this man last fall [Henderson, 2015.05.11].
Tweedy is a small farmer and liberatarian who already opposes the pipeline due to the use (I think he would say abuse) of eminent domain, as well as concerns about farmland and the environment:
I am 100% against eminent domain being used for this project, and after the way I’ve been treated, I’m not for this project at all after I’ve educated myself about the benefits against costs, and the cost of this and what might happen a leak or the damaging of the ag land….
I do not like eminent domain to even be used for railroads and highways, but I hate eminent domain to be used to give the profits to a private corporation at the expense of sacred family farms [Hughie Tweedy, audio clip, transcribed from “Iowa Landowner Gets Odd Proposal from Pipeline Company,” WNAX Radio, 2015.05.13].
Sleazy land agent tactics would just be frosting on the cake for opponents of the Dakota Access pipeline. Tweedy’s basic complaint about the pipeline itself is the call I’ve been waiting for South Dakota conservatives to make ever since TransCanada first got permission to use eminent domain for Keystone 1 in South Dakota: why are we letting private corporations, domestic and foreign, usurp the government’s power of eminent domain to build private projects, for private profit, at the expense of family farms?