Georgia plans to invade Tennessee, steal water
So because Atlanta and the State of Georgia can't really manage their own water resources, they've decided to invade Tennessee and siphon off the waters of the Tennessee River, about 1.1 miles inside the Tennessee border. No, really. And the politicians in both States have the paperwork to prove it.
Indeed, the resolutions that have been coming out of the General Assembly of Georgia, the General Assembly of Tennessee, and the Mayor's Office of Chattanooga have been hilarious. Here, for your enjoyment, are a sample.
First, from the Georgia General Assembly (which started all this):
WHEREAS, the northern border of the State of Georgia and the southern border of the states of North Carolina and Tennessee lies at the 35th parallel, north of the southernmost bank of the Tennessee River; andUpon learning of this declaration, Tennessee's Governor, Phil Bredesen, said that Tennessee would "defend her sovereign borders." He was joined by the Tennessee General Assembly in his outrage. Currently being debated on Capitol Hill in Nashville is the following:
WHEREAS, a flawed survey conducted in 1818 and never accepted by the State of Georgia erroneously marks the 35th parallel south of its actual location; and
WHEREAS, over a long period of years, from time to time, the legislatures of these states have undertaken to authorize the appointment of committees to meet and to resolve the issues associated with the wrongly surveyed and erroneously marked border; and
WHEREAS, by an Act of the General Assembly of North Carolina, approved in 1881 (N.C. Gen. Stat. 141-1 to 6 (1964)), the General Assembly of North Carolina authorized the Governor of North Carolina to appoint commissioners and a surveyor from North Carolina to act with the commissioners and surveyors appointed or to be appointed by any of the states contiguous to North Carolina to resurvey and mark the boundary lines between these states; and
WHEREAS, no official record of any such commissioners and surveyors as provided for in said Act exists; and
WHEREAS, by an Act of the General Assembly of Georgia, approved October 15, 1887 (Ga. L. 1886-87, p. 105), the General Assembly of Georgia directed the Governor to communicate with the Governor of Tennessee for the purpose of having a joint survey and settlement of the disputed boundary question and authorized the appointment of a committee to meet with an assembly committee representing the State of Tennessee, whose duty it would be to survey, establish, and proclaim the true boundary line; and
WHEREAS, by an Act approved April 8, 1889, the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee enacted a similar authorization; and
WHEREAS, by a resolution approved March 6, 1941 (Ga. L. 1941, p. 1850), the General Assembly directed the Governor of Georgia to communicate with the Governor of Tennessee for the purpose of having a joint survey and settlement of the disputed question and further resolved that a standing committee of the House of Representatives be created to meet with a similar committee of the State of Tennessee to establish, survey, and proclaim the true boundary line between Georgia and Tennessee; and
WHEREAS, by a resolution approved March 27, 1947 (Ga. L. 1947, p. 1728), the General Assembly appointed a commission to negotiate with the proper authorities of the State of Tennessee and to agree upon and to fix a definite boundary line, and, in the failure of the commission to reach a settlement, the General Assembly authorized and directed the Attorney General of the State of Georgia to institute suit in the federal courts for purposes of accurately determining the boundary line between Georgia and Tennessee; and
WHEREAS, by a resolution approved March 6, 1971 (Ga. L. 1971, p. 2374), the General Assembly directed the Governor of Georgia to communicate with the Governors of North Carolina and Tennessee for the purpose of having joint surveys and settlements of the disputed boundary questions and further resolved that a Georgia-North Carolina and Georgia-Tennessee Boundary Line Commission be created to meet with similar commissions of the legislatures of the states of North Carolina and Tennessee to establish, survey, and proclaim the true boundary lines between Georgia and North Carolina and between Georgia and Tennessee, and to take such further or other action or pursue such remedy or remedies as the joint Commission of the Georgia General Assembly, by a majority vote, deems proper to establish the definite and true boundary lines between Georgia and North Carolina and Georgia and Tennessee; and
WHEREAS, by suggestion of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the Chairman of the Tennessee Public Service Commission and the Chairman of the Georgia Public Service Commission agreed in 1974 to reserve resolution of the general boundary issue until a later date (15 FERC, p. 61240), the resolution of which has never been reached; and
WHEREAS, notwithstanding these authorizations and directions, the boundary lines have never been accurately resurveyed and marked and remain in doubt; and
WHEREAS, it is to the public interest and welfare that accurate and exact lines between the said states be established and proclaimed.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA that the Governor of Georgia is hereby directed to communicate with the Governors of North Carolina and Tennessee for the purpose of having joint surveys and settlements of the disputed boundary questions.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that there is hereby created the Georgia-North Carolina and Georgia-Tennessee Boundary Line Commission to meet with similar commissions of the General Assemblies of the States of North Carolina and Tennessee to establish, survey, and proclaim the true boundary lines between Georgia and North Carolina and between Georgia and Tennessee, and to take such further or other action or pursue such remedy or remedies as the joint commission of the Georgia General Assembly, by a majority vote, deems proper to establish the definite and true boundary lines between Georgia and North Carolina and Georgia and Tennessee. The commission shall be composed of three members of the House of Representatives, to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and three members of the Senate, to be appointed by the President of the Senate. The Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate shall designate one of their respective appointees as co-chairperson, and the co-chairpersons shall jointly call the organizational meeting of the commission.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, in order to effectively carry out its duties and responsibilities, said commission may employ consultants and contract with persons, firms, or corporations to provide research and other assistance as the commission deems proper and necessary; provided, however, that the amount of any funds proposed to be spent for such services shall first be approved, in writing, by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and President of the Senate.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that each member of such commission shall receive the expenses and allowances provided by law for legislative members of interim legislative committees for each meeting of the commission or subcommittees thereof attended by each such member, but shall receive the same for not more than 15 days, unless additional days are authorized by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate. All funds necessary to carry out the provisions of this resolution shall come from funds appropriated or otherwise available to the legislative branch of government.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the commission shall issue a report of its findings, work and meetings with similar commissions from North Carolina and Tennessee, and shall report the resolution of any boundary line questions or recommendations to the 2009 regular session of the General Assembly of Georgia. Said commission shall stand abolished as of the day on which the General Assembly convenes in regular session in 2009.
WHEREAS, action recently taken by our good friends in the Georgia General Assembly constitutes an assault on the sanctity of the borders of our great State of Tennessee; andAnd finally, today, the Mayor of Chattanooga promulgated a Proclamation naming today "Give Our Georgia Friends A Drink Day." Here, in Biblical proportions, is the proclamation:
WHEREAS, our legislative neighbors to the south have passed ill-conceived legislation alleging a boundary dispute between Georgia and Tennessee at the 35th Parallel and purporting to settle such dispute by the creation of a Boundary Line Commission composed of legislators from both States; and
WHEREAS, the Peach State alleges that erroneous surveys conducted in 1818 and 1826 with antiquated equipment have deprived Georgia of a tiny sliver of the Tennessee River; and
WHEREAS, this General Assembly realizes that the Tennessee-Georgia boundary has been well established for nearly 200 years, and that there is no valid reason for Tennessee to revisit this issue; and
WHEREAS, in addition to the doctrine of adverse possession, in which long-term possession of real property trumps survey boundaries, all other pertinent legal precedent favors the Volunteer State, just as good fortune often smiles upon the righteous; and
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, has held in Oklahoma vs. Texas that there is a “general principle of public law” that, as between States, a “long acquiescence in the possession of territory under a claim of right and in the exercise of dominion and sovereignty over it, is conclusive of the rightful authority” and has held in Georgia vs. South Carolina that “long acquiescence in the practical location of an interstate boundary, and possession in accordance therewith, often has been used as an aid in resolving boundary disputes” between States; and
WHEREAS, this General Assembly understands that original jurisdiction in boundary disputes between the several States of this great nation resides with the United States Supreme Court, not some entity arbitrarily established by the Georgia legislature via resolution; and
WHEREAS, the State of Tennessee elects to take the high road relative to this mythical dispute, instead of becoming embroiled in an election-year ploy initiated by the Georgia General Assembly through legislation which, while purporting to settle a boundary dispute in a friendly manner, is actually nothing but a veiled attempt to commandeer the resources of the Tennessee River for the benefit of water-starved Atlanta, which is either unable or unwilling to control its reckless urban sprawl; and
WHEREAS, instead of engaging in such political rhetoric, this General Assembly is presently considering substantive measures to address Tennessee’s water supply and water shortages; perhaps our neighbors to the south should do the same; and
WHEREAS, in the face of Georgia’s heinous assault on the sovereignty of Tennessee, this General Assembly must act expeditiously and with authority to protect the borders of our State for present and future generations;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE ONE HUNDRED FIFTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, THE SENATE CONCURRING, that on behalf of the State of Tennessee and all Tennesseans, this General Assembly refuses to participate in the Boundary Line Commission purportedly established by the Georgia General Assembly, or any similar commission established for such purpose.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that it is the sense of this General Assembly that the Tennessee-Georgia boundary has been properly established since 1818.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that enrolled copies of this resolution be delivered to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate of the Georgia General Assembly.
WHEREAS, it has come to pass that the heavens are shut up and a drought of Biblical proportions has been visited upon the Southern United States; andSpecial thanks to Patrick Johnson for citing the Chattanooga proclamation my way.
WHEREAS, the parched and dry conditions have weighed heavily upon the State of Georgia and sorely afflicted those who inhabit the Great City of Atlanta; and
WHEREAS, the leaders of Georgia have assembled like the Children of Israel in the desert, grumbled among themselves and have begun to cast longing eyes toward the north, coveting their neighbor’s assets; and
WHEREAS, the lack of water has led some misguided souls to seek more potent refreshment or for other reasons has resulted in irrational and outrageous actions seeking to move a long established and peaceful boundary; and
WHEREAS, it is deemed better to light a candle than curse the darkness, and better to offer a cool, wet kiss of friendship rather than face a hot and angry legislator gone mad from thirst; and
WHEREAS, it is feared that if today they come for our river, tomorrow they might come for our Jack Daniels or George Dickel;
NOW THEREFORE, In the interest of brotherly love, peace, friendship, mutual prosperity, citywide self promotion, political grandstanding and all that,
I, RON LITTLEFIELD, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE, do hereby Proclaim that Wednesday, February 27, 2008 shall be known as “Give Our Georgia Friends a Drink Day.”