Some Livingston County residents are seeing the power of big oil right in their own backyards.
Residents along a 50-mile stretch of an Enbridge Oil Company pipeline are being intimidated by the company, which has posted armed guards on the easements and in at least one case cut down trees on a resident's property near the pipeline.
But the latest display of power is Enbridge's ability to buy the power of government to intimidate property owners. The Livingston Press and Argus reports that the company has a contract with the sheriff's department to post deputies along the pipeline construction areas allegedly to "keep the peace" between property owners and the pipeline construction crew. But since there have been no actual incidents between property owners and Enbridge, what's the point? Intimidation.
What's especially galling is that the off-duty deputies are wearing uniforms, despite being paid for by Enbridge.
That's what happens when corporations have huge amounts of money to spend. They buy whatever they want, including the services of our taxpayer-supported law enforcement.