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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Absolute dominion

I've just discovered another thing, along with the lupine-bluebell connection and the occasional August sightings of Bushes at Walkers Point, that Maine has in common with Texas, this time exclusively: both states, and only these two states, have the law of absolute dominion. AD says that a property owner has rights to whatever is under his land, no matter that "whatevers" like liquids might also extend under someone else's land. The law is obviously just fine by Texas Oilmen. It works pretty well for Nestle, proud owner of Poland Spring, as well. NestPolS apparently has no compunctions about drawing down the aquifers as far as it can suck.

Towns like Newfield and Shapleigh, near the New Hampshire border, are fighting back. In response to NestPolS' attempts to get permits from the state or the towns, Shapleigh recently passed an ordnance stating, “Natural communities and ecosystems possess inalienable and fundamental rights to exist, flourish and naturally evolve within the Town of Shapleigh.”

Don't you love the idea of water having rights? Don't you hate the idea that this is how people must fight the near absolute dominion of the big corporations?

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