Myriad obstacles remain for billionaire oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens to market Panhandle water to thirsty cities elsewhere in Texas, but one intermediate hurdle appears to be a slam dunk.
Pickens still must lay a pipeline to deliver water to a buyer that's yet to be secured.
But this week he secured a November election for a proposed freshwater supply district in Roberts County. Only five people will be eligible to vote, and all either work for him or support him and live within the proposed district's boundaries.
A bit further down the page there's also this:
Though Roberts County Judge Vernon H. Cook voted Tuesday to approve a petition for the district and to call for the election to confirm it, he questioned the method.
"I feel like it's an abuse of the system," he said of only Pickens' people casting ballots. "I have all kinds of concerns about the way the legislation is structured, but I don't think we have a real legal recourse on it."
I have to be careful not to exceed fair use standards, so only one more quote:
Monty Humble, an attorney working for Pickens, said freshwater supply districts can get low-interest bonds for infrastructure beyond the boundaries of the district if they are revenue bonds.
The district also comes with eminent domain powers that reach beyond its boundaries.
So, T. Boone "gives" property to a few of his employees with the specific understanding that they'll vote the way he wants them to regarding T. Boone's private water district.
Presuming all goes as expected (not to say paid for or anything), then next year T. Boone can run a pipeline (or pretty much anything else he chooses) through anyone else's property without so much as a "By your leave ...". I know how much I trust Mr. Corporate Raider to show restraint and consideration for anyone else's concerns.
That's more than just a fresh breeze runnin' up your kilt, pardner.