Pipeline Case: OH Judge Finds Public Right to Free Flow of Energy

There are a number of pipeline battles currently going on. While residents in New England tend to be more unreasonable than most when it comes to pipelines, landowners in other regions also oppose new pipeline construction. Some of their opposition stems from nutty opposition to fossil fuels. But some opposition is legitimate–concerns over where the pipeline will go through a property. Or concerns about lease terms/compensation. One thing that doesn’t hurt anyone is to allow a survey of a property. We would encourage landowners to begin their dialog about a potential pipeline with the surveyors–to make companies aware of your concerns about the routing of a pipeline across your land. But some holdout landowners unreasonably resist even a survey–and they’re consistently losing in Ohio courts. Specifically we’re talking about the NEXUS Gas Transmission pipeline–a $1.5-$2.0 billion natural gas pipeline that will carry Utica and Marcellus Shale gas spanning 11 counties in Ohio, 3 counties in Michigan, and eventually connect to the Dawn Energy Hub in Canada. We recently told you that in most cases when landowners refuse access to surveyors, they lose (see NEXUS Pipeline Sues for Survey Access, Wins Most of the Time). Below we have news of a court decision from Fulton County, OH in which the judge outlines his reasons for ruling in favor of NEXUS to allow surveys to commence on properties for 15 hold-out landowners. The judge’s ruling is instructive. In it, the judge says the general public has a “right” to expect a “free flow” of energy products…

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