Canadian Energy Company Bullies Nebraska Residents over Pipeline Right-of-Way
The Canadian builder of the Keystone XL pipeline is threatening to push its way through the land of Nebraska residents who don’t want the controversial project running through their property.
A state law gives TransCanada the option until January 22, 2015 of using the power of eminent domain to gain right-of-way access to the lands of Nebraskans who oppose the pipeline that would run from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico carrying toxic tar sands oil for export.
The law, the Nebraska Major Oil Pipeline Siting Act, is currently under legal challenge. A lower state court nullified the act, and now the Nebraska Supreme Court is reviewing the decision by a Lancaster County district judge.
“They are relying on a statute that has been declared unconstitutional, and they have an argument pending before the Supreme Court in which those issues are fully framed. I don’t think their position has even remote credibility,” said Dave Domina, an attorney representing three landowners who have challenged the law.
Company officials told the Lincoln Star Journal that they have gained 84% of the right of way needed in Nebraska and 100% of it in South Dakota and Montana.
The nonprofit Nebraska Easement Action Team told the newspaper that at least 115 residents have refused to grant right-of-way to TransCanada.
“The group has called for contractual provisions giving landowners greater control and protection, including requiring the pipeline be removed once it has outlived its useful life,” Nicholas Bergin reported.
To Learn More:
TransCanada Considers Eminent Domain (by Nicholas Bergin, Lincoln Star Journal)
Nebraska Judge Strikes Down Law Allowing Keystone Pipeline in the State (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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