The Adult Approach to Negotiating with Pipeline Companies

Many times MDN has opined, as we cover the news about pipeline projects, that landowners need to realize they can’t just act like children stomping their feet and refuse to deal with pipeline companies–and expect the companies to give up and go away. Doesn’t happen. However, if landowners behave like rational adults and talk to pipeline companies–“Hey, don’t run it here through my best hay field but over there, through that field”–they stand a much better chance of a positive outcome. Landowners need to be respectful, open, honest, firm, but above all, talk to pipeline companies when they come calling. And when they do, they almost always get a much better result than they otherwise would have. We spotted an article written by a law firm operating in Ohio that takes the approach we’ve advocated. Sitterley, Vandervoort & Davis writes, “While the knee-jerk reaction may be to fight, to make it as difficult as you can for the pipeline company, employing a “take-no-prisoners” attitude that is aggressive may not be the best decision.” Well said. Sometimes a more firm approach is warranted–we’re not saying you have to fold like a cheap suit. What we are saying is that there’s a time and place for being nice, and maybe later, not so nice. Kindness works best…

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