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Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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http://www.heraldandnews.com/articles/2003/11/13/viewpoints/letters/letters.txt

Energy plant threat to rights

In a democracy, the will of the majority prevails over the rights of the minority. Thankfully, we live in a republic where the constitutional rule of law prevails.

This rule of law protects the minority's rights when the majority, citing the advancement of the greater public good, clamors for actions that infringe on those minority rights. The citizens of the Langell Valley farming community constitute such a minority.

These Langell Valley landowners selected their property carefully. They chose to live and work in a rural farming community far removed from the noise, lights and pollution of industrial America. They chose to invest in Langell Valley because of the extremely light traffic load, and because that traffic consists nearly exclusively of their neighbors.

They chose to invest in Oregon because the state's land-use planning laws are stringent, ensuring that their investment expectations were secure. They chose to invest in Oregon because the state's surface and groundwater laws scrupulously prevent injury to priority water right owners.

When they purchased their homes and farmland in Langell Valley, they held certain investment-backed expectations. Among those expectations were that the property that they purchased, and its surrounding farm community, would remain in exclusive farm use and that the water rights appurtenant to their land were secure. Siting the Cob LLC energy facility in Langell Valley would effectively destroy those investment-backed expectations.

By effectively changing the rules for this multi-billion dollar People's Energy subsidiary, our local and state governments will have effectively extinguished these minority citizens' investment-backed property rights. In fact, the siting action will amount to an uncompensated taking of their private property.

Susie Gibson

10440 West Langell Valley Road

Bonanza

 
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