April 13 - April 19, 2015

Private energy companies are invoking eminent domain authority to gain access to homeowner property, saying their pipeline surveys have a public function. What do you think?

Answers Votes
Boo! Private, for-profit companies should not be able to use eminent domain laws. 86%
Fine! Everyone benefits, directly or indirectly, from the nation’s pipeline system. 14%

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Tagged categories: Laws and litigation; North America; Pipeline; Program/Project Management

Comment from Jim Johnson, (4/13/2015, 10:43 AM)

The question, as asked, is almost impossible to answer. There are two issues here, property owner rights and community benefits. It should ask - Since pipelines are installed to generate profit should private landowners get a portion of those profits? Or - When eminent domain is used to access private property should the property owner be allowed to lease the land and get a royalty for all profit generating product through the system?

Comment from Mark Bowen, (4/14/2015, 3:55 PM)

Eminent domain should be reserved to those projects which are 100% publicly owned. This intent can still be thwarted by politicians by transferring the project to a public-private partnership.

Comment from John Fauth, (4/15/2015, 8:38 AM)

Sadly, this misuse of eminent domain laws is the natural outcome of Kelo vs New London. That was a truly abhorrent case and decision. Whenever private property rights are diminished, it will inevitably impact average citizens.

Comment from James Albertoni, (4/16/2015, 11:08 AM)

I read the question differently. My thinking was that an already existing pipeline is on private property and the owner is not allowing SURVEYING of the pipeline. I would want a legal way to access the pipe for surveying and maintenance. That being said, paying for access (easement, right of way, or other)should always be the first option. I would always be against a private company using eminent domain to build a pipeline.

Comment from Robert Worthingham, (4/17/2015, 2:31 AM)

A land owner who does not allow pipeline safety related surveys is only endangering themselves and their neighbours.

Comment from M. Halliwell, (4/17/2015, 10:45 AM)

James and Robert, I believe that the article that prompted this question was related to building a new pipeline. Landowners didn't want to let the pipeline company on to survey or for construction and the pipeline co. has gone "eminent domain" to force their way in.

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