Phil Reynolds (see below)

Environment Matters

Phil Reynolds

Many people don't know the story of Phil Reynolds, a courageous road commissioner for Old Town Township in McLean County, Illinois, who is simply concerned for his roads. These roads are small and meant for light traffic. However recently, Enbridge, a Canadian company who has several large crude oil pipelines running through Illinois and plans to build several more, has been trying to "steamroll" over his resistance to allow them to use these roads for their heavy trucks without proper maintenance of the roads for their new Southern Access Extension (SAX) project.

The SAX will allow Enbridge to carry tar sands oil, an extremely hazardous substance, straight through Illinois through the Eastern Gulf Crude Access Pipeline to the Gulf Coast where 60% of the gasoline refined there is exported out of the country. Enbridge has been granted Eminent Domain in Illinois to force landowners to relinquish their rights to prevent pipelines through their property for the purported reason that we, in Illinois, all need this oil. However much of this oil is not even used in our country, but instead, as mentioned, for export, which only benefits a few people at the heads of organizations such as Enbridge. In addition, in a time when we should be focused on pursuing renewable energy solutions such as electric vehicles, companies like Enbridge are trying to increase the flow of oil, not decrease it.

Phil's main concern is that Enbridge's heavy truck traffic over certain roads, not safe for heavy trucks, should not be allowed to be permitted for Enbridge's use unless they are responsible for all maintenance to these roads and for damages caused while the projects are being undertaken. These roads in McLean County are not meant for heavy trucks. However, Enbridge told him he had no authority to refuse them or attach conditions to the use of the roads. Because they cannot reach an agreement and it has taken over a year, Enbridge has sued Phil Reynolds for loss of profit due to the delays that were imposed by him not immediately granting them permits. So Phil Reynolds is facing a personal law suit, and Enbridge seems to have no qualms in their on-going pursuit to extract every last drop of oil from the Earth and destroy all who get in their way.

Enbridge has also been granted "Quick Take" status in their Eminent Domain cases where they can go ahead and start construction anyway, as long as they set aside $26 million for any compensation they need to pay. This seems to go around basic land owner rights. Phil, the road commissioner of McLean county, is concerned about the roads, and Enbridge, as they always do, is trying to "steam roll" over him. Phil Reynolds is the latest hero that had the courage to stand up to Enbridge's absolute arrogance, and we should support him and show that we too are concerned by the threat this company poses to our land.

While Keystone XL construction was thwarted, Enbridge has quietly been constructing and increasing capacity on their own set of pipelines and will soon be carrying more capacity than Keystone XL would have ever carried.

This page last updated on 7/5/17