OH Landowners ask Court to Stop OPEN Pipeline Eminent Domain

In December 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave final approval to Spectra Energy’s OPEN (Ohio Pipeline Energy Network) project in Ohio–a $468.5 million pipeline from Ohio to the Gulf Coast (see FERC Approves OPEN Pipeline in Eastern OH, Gas Goes to Gulf Coast). The project includes building 76 miles of new pipeline from Columbiana County to Monroe County (slicing through Belmont County along the way) to connect to the Texas Eastern Pipeline. The pipeline will then reverse its flow–making it bidirectional–in order to carry Marcellus and Utica Shale gas from eastern Ohio to the Gulf Coast. As soon as FERC issued final approval, Texas Eastern, the owner of Spectra Energy, started to issue eminent domain notices to landowners along the 76-mile route who aren’t playing ball with them. A husband and wife are pushing back. With the assistance of the Ohio 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, Roger and Lana Barack of Belmont County have filed their opposition to Texas Transmission’s notice to take “immediate possession” of their land. The Baracks and The 1851 Center call the manner in which Texas Transmission is trying to take their land “abusive” and in essence, a midnight railroading of innocent landowners…

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