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The Amish Are Getting Fracked 367

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-they-survived-the-iphone-they'll-survive-this dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Old school meets business school. From the New Republic: 'The Amish interpretation of the Christian bible prohibits the use of the courts: Except in rare circumstances, the Amish do not sue. This has created a unique problem in the region. Home to the largest Amish community in the world, Eastern Ohio sits squarely on top of the Utica and Marcellus Shale formations, which contain billions in oil and gas recoverable through advances in hydraulic fracturing technology, or fracking ... When it comes to the oil and gas industry, this means that any agreement an Amish farmer makes with a company is, for the farmer, practically unenforceable. A rare case in which the plaintiffs were Amish suggests that Ohio's oil and gas companies know this and have been willing to take advantage.'"
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The Amish Are Getting Fracked

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:18AM (#43935843)

    I know who I'd bet on every time.

  • by cphilo (768807) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:18AM (#43935851)
    Except they have no ethics or morality. Or shame.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      they have no ethics or morality. Or shame.

      I'd say this applies to government more than private corporations.

      • Who enforces environmental law, consumer rights, and worker safety more in this relationship?
      • by Trepidity (597)

        Yes, in some cases as well. That's why I'm more interested in the power an organization wields in practice, rather than what it's labeled. For example, a homeowners' association is de-facto a kind of municipal government, even though it's officially labeled a private-sector entity. Similarly, a company town is a corporation acting in a governmental role. In the other direction, municipalities that use e.g. speeding tickets on a highway that passes through as a major revenue source are acting in the manner o

  • by j00r0m4nc3r (959816) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:18AM (#43935855)
    Can't they just give someone else the authority to sue on their behalf? There must be a loophole somewhere in the Bible...
    • by Picass0 (147474) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:22AM (#43935899) Homepage Journal

      They probably could but if the property owner is not a party on the lawsuit there's nothing to compel a third party to share any restitution from the court.

      • by t1oracle (1908404)
        What they need are some non-Amish cousins. Keep your friends close, but keep the heathens closer because one day you might need them to go to court for you to file lawsuits...
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by AvitarX (172628)

        Doesn't matter, it would encourage the drilling companies to act more honestly.

        The Amish want fair dealings without lawsuits, the corporations want to take advantage of the lack of lawsuits to deal unfairly. If a third party reaps 100% of the reward of a lawsuit, things are likely to be more, not less enforced, which should encourage fairer dealings with the Amish than the general population, a win win for the Amish.

    • Re:lawsuit by proxy? (Score:5, Informative)

      by MozeeToby (1163751) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:28AM (#43935957)

      You're used to the kind of Easter/Christmas (or at most Sunday) Christians that you meet every day on the street. The Amish aren't like that. They live every day of their lives neck deep in their interpretation of the bible. They pray a dozen times a day, not because it's mandated, but just because that's what they do. They do not go out looking for loopholes to that interpretation, even something as simple as allowing bright colors on their children's clothes takes endless meetings and councils.

      You have to say this, at least they are consistent in their belief system, unlike most self proclaimed religious people. And generally speaking they are happy with their lot and comfortable in their lives, but sometimes it leaves them wide open for exploitation.

      • Re:lawsuit by proxy? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:37AM (#43936113) Homepage Journal

        Somewhat. There are Amish who will 'not use electricity', but will use a diesel generator at the barn to run the dairy equipment.

        Is that a loophole or a nuanced interpretation?

        • Re:lawsuit by proxy? (Score:5, Informative)

          by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:41AM (#43936153)

          That is just you not understanding.
          They have no problem with electricity, the problem is being tied to the grid. Some take this so far as to only use air powered equipment. To remove any temptation for grid tie.

        • Somewhat. There are Amish who will 'not use electricity', but will use a diesel generator at the barn to run the dairy equipment.

          Is that a loophole or a nuanced interpretation?

          There is also supposedly a "Black Bumper" flavor, who will use automobiles, so long as they don't have decorative chromed components.

          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            I think you are confusing the Amish with Mennonites. They do not wear anything that is overly decorative, as that is vanity. This modesty extends to their vehicles.

        • Re:lawsuit by proxy? (Score:4, Informative)

          by Tyler Durden (136036) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:49AM (#43936249)
          This [amishamerica.com] article discusses in what situations they might use electricity, and the reasoning behind it. Using a generator to acquire electricity is viewed as being less reliant on the outside world than, say, getting it from the power grid.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Neither, actually. This stems from the Ordnung (governing covenant, basically) used by the Amish, Anabaptist, Mennonites, etc. which outlines behavior and rules that each community has agreed to follow, which may (and likely is) be different from another nearby community. Many view that their communities are separate state-like entities -- thus the fact that Ordnungs differ between communities only miles apart -- and thus, must be disconnected from the larger society as a whole. If they pay for electrici

        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:54AM (#43936327)

          There is a wonderful piece done by NPR which explains this. A summary paraphrase is something like this. They only do something if it brings them closer to their god. Anything that could be a distraction from that is removed from their lives. So using a diesel generator that gives them more time and money to spend in their community and with God is a good thing for them, television that takes time from their family and their focus on god is a bad thing. I may not believe as they do, but exploitation of any people gets me kind of riled. As an atheist, no one deserves to be abused just for how they choose to live or believe, especially if it does not infringe upon others. The law needs to come down supremely hard on these people abusing the Amish.

        • Not at all, if they use it it is necessary to the survival of their family's way of life, which is the primary reason that modern machinery is allowed. FDA and USDA guidelines don't allow for hand milking and require refrigeration for obvious reasons. Families that had been dairy farmers for generations were left with a choice, abandon their family's traditions or modernize to the minimum extent necessary to continue.

          But even if they chose to bring the necessary equipment they reduce the intrusion to the

      • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:49AM (#43936241)

        It isn't so much the Easter/Christmas Christians. I mean when you have someone that only has a passing involvement in their religion, it is not at all surprising when they ignore some (or many) of the rules. However you see it in the really orthodox as well. They find what they believe to be loopholes and use them.

        Orthodox Jews are some of the best examples:

        So Exodus 35:3 says "Do not light a fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day." This relates to Exodus 16:23 which says "This is what the LORD commanded: 'Tomorrow is to be a day of sabbath rest, a holy sabbath to the LORD. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.'" Basically the idea is, as far as biblical scholars can tell, that making a fire was a lot of work (try making a fire rubbing sticks together, it sucks) and the Sabbath is a day of rest. So none of that, you make your food on Friday, rest on Saturday. Remember that we are talking the ME/Mediterranean here, so you didn't really need fire for warmth.

        However, for whatever reason, the Talmudic interpretation has decided that electricity is fire. I'm not sure why, but that is what the orthodox churches teach. So, you aren't allowed to operate electric devices on Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath), in particular your oven. Well that's pretty damn inconvenient in the modern world... So they find all kinds of "loopholes". You can get ovens that have timers longer than 24 hours. You set them up the day before, and they'll heat up (and down) at the prescribed times. Also while an Orthodox Jew can't go and push the buttons to operate an elevator in their building, it is 100% fine to have a Gentile who does it for you. Or, since elevator operators are a rather unnecessary expense these days, elevators can be (and are) set in to 'Sabbath Mode' where they automatically stop at every floor and open up, and just keep cycling. Takes longer, you have to get on and wait, but you can use it without 'operating' it.

        This is real, and it is big. There are plenty of Orthodox Jews that seem to think it is important to obey that part of the bible, but that they can find ticky loopholes and gotchas to get around it and god will be ok with that. I don't claim to understand it, however it is what it is.

        On the flip side you'll see some weird stuff like stores that won't let you order on the Sabbath. B&H Photo Video, one of the best camera stores in the US, is like that. They have a big, well designed, online ordering system. However it won't let you order on the Sabbath. You can browse, but if you try to place an order, it won't allow it, you have to wait, it won't queue it into the system. The servers don't get the day off, but they aren't allowed to take orders :).

        So you can see how, given things like this, people might assume the Amish would be similar. It is not from dealing with people who are casually religious that you get the idea, but from dealing with those that are deeply religious and seem to care about certain rules, but are 100% fine with going around those rules in tricky ways.

        Now lest someone think I'm picking on the Jews here, I just chose the example because it is one you see a fair bit in America. You should see some of the things various orthodox Muslims do that are against the Koran, but they've found a loophole that makes it "ok" in this particular case.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Totally my personal belief here, but the people we see on TV, yelling about Homosexuality, being puffed-up about Christianity aren't actually Christians at all. They don't meet any of the traditional requirements. They're prideful, spiteful, hateful, etc... all the classic deadly sins. The whole idea of what Christianity is has been taken over by false loudmouths. They need to be called out by the greater community, but of course they never will be.

      • They are extremists/fanatics, even if they are not violent. This is just another form of themselves pushing themselves to the fringes.
      • True Amish Lifestyle (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Chordonblue (585047) on Friday June 07, 2013 @10:08AM (#43936507) Journal

        It's funny when people talk about the Amish as if their assured piety somehow comes from genetics or something. The truth is, the Amish have ALWAYS sought for 'loopholes' in their situation - what the Bishops allow for is a different tale altogether.

        I could give you LOTS of examples, but here's a oldie AND a goodie. Back in the early 90's, I worked for a Commodore dealer in Lancaster County, PA (BIG Amish and Mennonite community). C= had kind of a non-sequitur deal: Buy an Amiga 500 bundled with a 1080 monitor, get a 'free' VCR - which was kinda silly. The A500 had no color composite out, so actually hooking it up to a VCR required this phallic-looking 6 inch long module (the A520), which of course, was not included.

        And yet...

        The Old Order Mennonites and even a few of the younger Amish were buying into this deal - big time. We sold more A500s than ever during this time - and the vast majority were going to that community. While the A500 didn't have a true color composite out (C= = STUPID!), the VCR did, and it just so happened that the monitor that came with the bundle did as well. I found out what was going on when I suggested to a conservative-looking young couple that, with an antenna connected to the VCR's tuner, you could actually watch TV on the monitor.

        I was taken aback by their shocked and seemingly terrified response, "Oh no! Don't SAY THAT! We don't want to watch TV on it!" What they DID want to watch was VHS video though. Because the Bishops were not up on the latest technology, they could claim that the computer system was the primary purpose of the deal - the VCR would not be mentioned, and they could watch all the tapes they wanted in the secluded privacy of their bedrooms.

        Today, if you see an Amish or Mennonite woman on the stoop of their house, cradling something close to their ear, you can bet it's a cell phone. There are cell vendors who specifically cater to the Amish's 'cash only' lifestyle.

        Folks, the Amish are as human as any of us. There are pious ones, but many are essentially trapped in a lifestyle out of necessity. Imagine this: With only an 8th grade education, and all of your friends and family belonging to the community, you'd probably stay because you'd fear the total abandonment of the only life you've ever known. But that doesn't mean they don't get rebellious or 'get up to dickens'... ;)

      • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Friday June 07, 2013 @10:11AM (#43936535)

        And generally speaking they are happy with their lot and comfortable in their lives

        I can't help it, being a sceptic, but I wonder - how common is it for people living in strong, patriarchal, authoritarian societies to claim that they are happy when they actually aren't, relative to other societies?

    • They're not Jewish. The Jewish love loopholes.
    • by julesh (229690)

      Can't they just give someone else the authority to sue on their behalf?

      Generally speaking, no. The legal concept of privity of contract means that except in unusual circumstances it is impossible for somebody to sue for breach of contract who was not a signatory to the contract. There are exceptions, but they're rare and usually have to be made explicit in the contract itself.

      IANAL; the above does not consitute legal advice.

    • I don't know where they get their logic to avoid courts, but the bible does speak out directly against banking which they utilize quite readily. There is always moral or religious justification until you get to cold hard cash. The Amish are not any more moralistic, no matter their community practices, than a corporation. I have lived in a community with them most of my life, I don't have any reverence for them. They are just people, just as a corporation is people. Any altruism they exhibit is derived

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        No, the bible speaks out against usury. The Koran forbids this as well. So they don't accept it. Instead they take the same loans that devout Muslims take. These are loans without interest, but instead other forms of fees. So for instance I might lend you $10,000 with $1000 down for 5 years, and you just pay the $10,000 back over that term. The $1000 down does not go against the principle but instead is my fee for this loan.

      • by PRMan (959735)

        “Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?” (1 Corinthians 6:7).

        The meaning is that you shouldn't take other believers (church-goers) to court. If two Christians can't work something out between themselves in a dispute that's fair for both sides, then one or both of them a) aren't very good Christians (selfish, love money) or b) aren't very forgiving.

        As a Christian, I would never sue anoth

  • Wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:21AM (#43935885)

    There are actually several different "sects" of Amish, all with differing interpretations. Saying that they don't make use of the courts is incorrect. Some don't, but for most the prohibition is in filing lawsuits for personal gain.

    In any event, it's really not something anybody should be concerned with. The Amish have the right to take advantage of the courts, and the right to choose not to use them. If their belief system says don't use the courts, well that's too bad but it's a burden they've placed on themselves.

    • Re:Wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tnk1 (899206) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:32AM (#43936045)

      Right. If the fracking did something like destroy their land so it couldn't be used for farming, they would likely be able to sue to get justice.

      What they probably won't do is sue if the energy companies don't give them all the money they agreed to, but at the same time, it doesn't prevent the Amish from living their lives.

      Although the Amish are not idiots, they have decided to live their lives without many modern conveniences. Presumably, they aren't going to be necessarily interested in extracting as much money as they can as there is no benefit to them in a lot of money except keeping score. Since mineral and resource rights are money that they would make without working for it themselves, it's a windfall that they may well not need or even want.

      That's not to say that they will or want to give this stuff away, but at the same time, if the energy companies are not actively hurting them, lawsuits are just a contentious issue that they don't need. Of course, nothing prevents them from pointing out that the energy companies are cheating them to interested parties and having those people publicize it (as seems to have happened here). This may give outsiders the idea that the Amish are being cheated and taken advantage of, but I just see it as them placing their priorities in a place where most people would not in modern society.

      • Right. If the fracking did something like destroy their land so it couldn't be used for farming, they would likely be able to sue to get justice.

        They would certainly be able to sue; getting justice is a different matter.

      • Although the Amish are not idiots, they have decided to live their lives without many modern conveniences.

        Not quite, they've decided to live their lives without being beholden to and dependent on outsiders. Why don't they wire up their houses to electricity? Because their way of life would rapidly change to make them dependent on it. Same reason they don't use cars or tractors. I don't know why, but I find this to be an important distinction... maybe it's because people think that the Amish just made this weird choice for no justification when there is a more fundamental, and more understandable reason for

    • it's a burden they've placed on themselves.

      Because a monopoly 'justice' system that's forced on them and violates their right of conscience and religious teachings is not an externally imposed burden at all.

    • In any event, it's really not something anybody should be concerned with. The Amish have the right to take advantage of the courts, and the right to choose not to use them. If their belief system says don't use the courts, well that's too bad but it's a burden they've placed on themselves.

      While we're at it, let's take those "oath or affirmation" lines out of the Constitution. An oath should be good enough for anyone. If Quakers can't serve in office because they won't take an oath, that's a burden they've placed on themselves.

    • It's not about the courts, or the Amish. It's about companies not living up to their end of the agreement because they know the Amish won't come after them in court. It's about moral decay and the sociopathy of large corporations.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:28AM (#43935959)

    Ohhh, you gonna paint that barn tonight
    Ohhh, down beside da lantern light
    Ohhh, you gonna finish all your chores
    Black bonnet girls you make the Amish world go round

    Yah

    I was just an Amish boy
    Full of purity und joy
    Knew damn well that I was holier than thee
    Left alone with Cousin Greta
    What a naughty baby sitta
    Heathen woman, you made a Mennonite out of me

    Yah Yah

    I know girls who never curse
    Chicks who know their bible verse
    Every one of them wore a dress down to da floor
    Though their chastity and charm
    Made them quite pleasant on da farm
    There ain't nothing like a good old Amish whore

    Ohhh, you gonna paint that barn tonight
    Ohhh, down beside da lantern light
    Ohhh, you gonna finish all your chores
    Black bonnet girls you make the Amish world go round
    Yah
    Black bonnet girls you make the Amish world go round

    Hey Carl
    Yah Graeber
    What's the difference between Greta and my buggy.
    I don't know Graber what is the difference
    Well, not everybody has been in my buggy.
    Ha ha ha ha

    Yah listen now
    I've been on my knees all day
    All I do is sit and pray
    Thought I saw the Lord but I can't really tell
    But I knew from da beginning
    With this lust and all this sinning
    Black bonnet girls and me will surely burn in hell

    Yah dig this
    Ohhh, you gonna paint that barn tonight
    Ohhh, down beside da lantern light
    Ohhh, you gonna finish all your chores
    Black bonnet girls you make the Amish world go round
    Yah
    Black bonnet girls you make the Amish world go round

    Get on your buggies and ride
    Black bonnet girls
    Man that Greta's built like a brick outhouse
    Black bonnet girls
    As long as I've got a pew, she's got a place to sit
    Black bonnet girls
    Yah, she could churn my butter anytime
    Black bonnet girls
    Hey Greta, show us your ankles
    Ooooh

  • Who was surprised by this? Other than the Amish.

    I wonder if the Amish will use the courts when their water well is unusable or a major spill occurs. Sure that is not a normal thing, but when you are already ripping them off on the lease you might as well do a shitty job casing the well too.

  • Their own fault (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Jiro (131519)

    If they had religious objections to the police, and thus refused to use them, would we start seeing stories that they are being robbed and the robbers are getting away?

    Of course if they don't use the courts, they don't get the benefit of the courts. If they refuse anything based on religious grounds, they're not going to get it. That's what "refuse" means. If they refuse the process of getting justice, they're not going to get justice, just like if they refuse internet service, they don't get internet se

    • I fucking hate this attitude. Blame the victim it's their fault! Yes, the affected people could fight back, but the story isn't about that as much as it is that these are large corporations purposefully taking advantage of their knowledge that the Amish won't fight back. If you go up to a pacifist and punch him in the face it's funny because he won't punch back right!? Right?

      • Re:Their own fault (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:46AM (#43936211) Homepage Journal

        In the U.S. corporations are our religion. The "Christianity" thing is a smokescreen. If it makes money and screws the other guy then in corporate-centric America it is right.

        I'm ready for the -1 mod on this... but I will keep saying it. We've got major problems with our ethics in the U.S. and corporatism is being the true religion. The Joel Olsteen "God wants you to be successful" crap is by no means Christianity.

    • Re:Their own fault (Score:4, Insightful)

      by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:49AM (#43936239) Homepage Journal

      If they refuse the process of getting justice

      They refuse a process, one that's claimed to get justice, when it often does not.

      It's so funny to see people call the US a 'Christian Nation' when its conflict resolution system is based on vengeance and disallows third party defense, contrary to all just moral codes do (this would help the Amish here). Jesus taught forgiveness, tolerance, and mutual aid - it's really hard to mesh the two.

      At the same time, if the Amish were to actually defend their property rights, the government that runs this so-called 'justice' system would do things to the Amish that would be considered illegal if anybody else did it and immoral by most watchers.

      There are conflict resolution systems that are compatible with property rights and the kinds of non-zero sum games that Jesus taught. We're not allowed to choose those here - the default system is always in play and it's based on retribution and violence. The Amish's resolve is admirable in this case. Blaming the victim is never admirable.

    • What next, articles about the cruel dilemma of Christian Scientists who are dying of disease because their religion discourages them from seeing doctors?

      Please tell me you see the difference between an act of nature (disease) and a system created by the government (courts). I don't know exactly what the solution is, but to say that the government can't, where practicable, make accommodations for people's deeply held religious belief is nonsense. It certainly has no basis in history or what most people would consider reason and justice. The phrase "oath or affirmation" is in the Constitution because Quakers have a religious objection to oaths. Did you think

    • by retech (1228598)
      I wondered how long it would take for some asshole to make this statement and the have the subsequent vote up.

      /. is nothing if not consistent with it's comments.
    • Re:Their own fault (Score:4, Insightful)

      by physicsphairy (720718) on Friday June 07, 2013 @10:28AM (#43936749) Homepage

      If they had religious objections to the police, and thus refused to use them, would we start seeing stories that they are being robbed and the robbers are getting away?

      If they had religious objections to invoking the police, it would be irrelevant. The police are still going to track down the robbers and arrest them regardless of whether mom and pop want to file charges. In structuring our society, we have arbitrarily decided to make a legal distinction between certain types of injustice. It used to be the case where I live that domestic violence was not prosecuted unless the abused wanted to press charges. You'd think if someone was being abused they would want their abuser to get what was coming to them. But that is not always the case, I suppose we decided we wanted the abuser to face justice regardless, because now they will be prosecuted by default.

      It is just as arbitrary deciding we are going to rely on a civil enforcement of contract law. In fact, we do have measures to protect certain disadvantaged people in contracts---minors, people with mental defects---but so far not people averse to filing lawsuits. Just because the Amish are willing to allow injustice to be perpetrated against them doesn't make it okay and doesn't mean we as a society are obliged to accept it, any more than we are obliged to allow physical abuse simply because the abused wants to remain in the relationship.

      The reason the Amish don't wish to file a lawsuit is because they have a different set of priorities. Their goal is to make their lives a compelling argument for what they believe in. They are instructed to shun lawsuits because legal disputes often result in discord and when it comes to a choice between the money or maintaining goodwill they suppose money is not that important. You're right that it is their choice to make. But it doesn't change the fact that they are being wronged and cheated. I don't understand why you think they need to be actively trying to get the better of their oppressors before we're allowed to be sympathetic.

  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:39AM (#43936137) Homepage

    That ought to learn the oil & gas companies a lesson!

  • by Big Hairy Ian (1155547) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:40AM (#43936149)
    Can't they sue the pants off of these guys and then repent afterwards?
  • by Sparticus789 (2625955) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:44AM (#43936181) Journal

    Why would the Amish need a court system? They have the Amish Mafia [wikipedia.org] to protect them.

  • To pay oil company executives a visit... Those guys make the Italian mafia look like pussies.

  • Simple solution: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Wireless Joe (604314) on Friday June 07, 2013 @09:57AM (#43936363) Homepage
    Don't enter into any more agreements with those frackers.
  • Which probably frowned upon by the Amish. "Easy money" makes it hard to stay close to God.
  • Middle-Men (Score:4, Informative)

    by nefus (952656) on Friday June 07, 2013 @10:04AM (#43936469)
    I think it's the middle-men who are on the whole responsible for these issues. My own parents have been approached by middle-men, sorry not sure what their titles are, who handle contracts between land owners and the companies. They handle the initial contract and pre-payments for anything in the ground, including percentages for any find. The oil and gas companies just buy these contracts from them in the same way freddie mac and fannie may buy home loans. I don't know if this is true for the entire country but its certainly true for where my parents live.
  • by awilden (110846) on Friday June 07, 2013 @10:47AM (#43937001)

    This is a larger problem than in Ohio. In Montana there are a small number of Amish and various other Anabaptists (all of which consider judicial action "taboo"), and they're also finding themselves square in the crosshairs. The fact is that Anabaptists tend to choose to live in isolated areas (so they will be left alone), yet those isolated areas are the ones that are increasingly being exploited for natural resources.

    It's also important to understand some of the other restrictions that aren't obvious. If an "English" farmer has a railroad that is forced on him/her through his/her property, s/he can request a crossing be built so that the normal operations of the farm (like moving cattle) aren't impeded. But to do that requires the farmer carry insurance to indemnify the railroad for damage. Amish also don't believe in insurance. So that means that there are no crossings on their farms. Driving 5 miles out of your way to get to an existing crossing is a far larger problem if you're on horse than it is if you are driving an internal combustion engine.

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Friday June 07, 2013 @11:07AM (#43937257) Homepage

    When it comes to the oil and gas industry, this means that any agreement an Amish farmer makes with a company is, for the farmer, practically unenforceable.

    In case anyone was wondering, and would prefer not to have to read TFA to find out what TFS is teasing about, the agreement made was to lease land to an oil company for $10/acre. The potential for a lawsuit comes about because the agent told them this was about the best price they could get - when the actual answer was more like $1000/acre - thereby, the article alleges, committing fraud.

    It could've been the Beverly Hillbillies/Witness mash-up I've been longing for, but alas.

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