TransCanada Pipeline Stomps a Rural Texas Family into Sewage Nightmare

damaging their health, according to a story in The Texas Observer. I’m not sure this is really a tar sands story. It’s more a capitalism vs freedom story.

As they waited, their house and property fell apart around them. The foundation slid toward the sewage pool in their front yard. The pipeline easement remained a black scar across their land where nothing grew except weeds, which then spread to the cropland next to it. Construction trucks tore up their roads. Worst of all, inside their walls black mold was blossoming. Lori, who spent the most time in the house, started to have asthma attacks and migraine headaches. But everyone in the family was affected.

It wasn’t just the septic system so much as a dozen other small indignities that made the Collinses feel, as Lori said, “like the land wasn’t even ours anymore.” 

There were the contractors trespassing on their land and the trucks rumbling down their private roads. Workers were on their land seven days a week, leaving gates open, letting cattle out. Then there were the guards. TransCanada and Michels Corp. had hired entire sheriffs’ departments to work as security, protecting the equipment from thieves and activists. Security is a common part of construction, but the off-duty cops patrolling the Collinses’ land made them feel like they were on occupied territory. Uniformed police posted up on the valve site above their house. The feeling got worse when uniformed off-duty cops twice detained their son, once on their property, once on a public county road.

Under the pressure, the Collinses, to their horror, found themselves changing. “I feel gullible now,” Lori said. “I don’t want to think, every time I meet someone, deal with someone, that I have to think the worst of them all the time. Now my son has said to me, ‘Mom, why do you always think the glass is half empty now? Why do you always say you can’t trust people?’ I hate that my son says that about me now. And I have [TransCanada] to thank for that.”

They probably manage to blame Obama somehow, though. Sigh.

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