Frank Talk About Using Eminent Domain for Pipeline Infrastructure

Here at MDN we’ve always found the issue of using eminent domain for pipeline projects to be thorny. We see both sides of the issue, although we tend to favor the sacredness of one’s property. We tackled the issue back in May (see Dealing Honestly with Issue of Eminent Domain for Pipelines). Our conclusion, in part, was that landowners should understand that the pipelines are coming. Sometimes you can get a company to reroute around your property, or change the course of the pipeline through your property. But to do so, you need to begin early, when the first surveyors show up. Work WITH the company, not against it. If you think you can hire and attorney and prevent the pipeline from crossing your property–you’re not being realistic. We also suggested you should hire an attorney, not to oppose the pipeline, but to watch out for your best interests. We said, “Everybody wins when people are REASONABLE. Look for ways to meet in the middle and be reasonable about a pipeline project. Pipelines are important pieces of infrastructure. Nobody likes having to give up land for a road, or an electric transmission line. And nobody likes to give up land for a pipeline. But once a pipeline is in the ground and covered, you can still use the land for a great many purposes. Keep it in perspective and look for a reasonable solution.” We recently came across another voice on this issue. David Taylor is president of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association. He gives a refreshing perspective on the use of eminent domain for pipelines…

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