The debates surrounding TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline are contentious, indeed, but still seem to be missing some important questions. While GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney plans on working towards this pipeline’s approval to decrease our dependence on foreign oil and create jobs, President Obama is fighting for an eco-friendly option. But both candidates forget our vital fifth amendment rights to just compensation. Whether it is this pipeline, a windmill farm, or a highway transit system, landowners’ property rights are jeopardized and no one wants to be the first to acknowledge the fact. Sure, pipelines and the like may create some temporary jobs here and there, but the long term result will be the permanent loss of someone’s private property. And with the economy continually improving, protecting landowners’ rights becomes even more important. Eminent domain is a powerful right that cannot go unchecked. It is vital that we learn how to protect our own rights as property owners.

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