No private, for-profit project should ever be allowed to take private property
Jim Rubens, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, issued the following statement on a recent Union Leader article in which the controversial proposed Northern Pass transmission project could be eligible for eminent domain under a plan being considered by the New England governors:
"Private property rights are protected by the Bill of Rights in both the United States and New Hampshire constitutions. The right to own property is a cornerstone of our Republic and it is wrong for anyone to use the police powers of the state to steal one's property for the profit of another. Northern Pass is attempting to cloak its private transmission project as having a public purpose, where no such public purpose exists, and thereby allowing property to be taken from New Hampshire property owners against their will.
"Eminent domain has been a looming as a threat to New Hampshire property owners since Northern Pass was first proposed in October 2010. The people of New Hampshire have fiercely resisted the possible takings of their land and that of their neighbors, resulting in HB 648 becoming law in 2012.
"Unfortunately, what we are seeing today is failed leadership by our state and federal elected officials to find and press for a solution acceptable to the people of New Hampshire. The right solution is a compromise entailing complete burial of Northern Pass on state and town owned rights-of-way. Revenues from that portion of Northern Pass passing through New Hampshire should go to state and local taxpayers, not to a foreign government owned corporation and a for-profit utility conglomerate in Connecticut.
"Jeanne Shaheen has failed to lead on Northern Pass. Her indecisive and ambiguous stand on the Northern Pass Presidential Permit application process has left New Hampshire property owners threatened for years by loss of their lands which, for many, have meaning far beyond money. I call on Sen. Shaheen to fight for private property rights and to urge Governor Hassan to slam the door on land takings for private gain.
"Both Senators Shaheen and Brown have received thousands of dollars in individual contributions from Northeast Utilities executives. These large contributions call into question whether Jeanne Shaheen and Scott Brown can and will defend New Hampshire property owners.
"As your next U.S. Senator, my position will be 100% perfectly clear as to where I stand on property rights.
"Money cannot compensate property owners whose stewardship and emotional bonds can extend back and forward for generations. It would be a dangerous precedent and a grave injustice if a powerful private interest were able to hijack the police powers of the state to take private land for private gain.”