The use of eminent domain for energy transmission corridors has become a hot topic lately. See, for example, the following posts:
- TransCanada Keystone Pipeline Is Common Carrier With Eminent Domain Power
- Private Pipeline Lacks Eminent Domain Power - Not "In Public Service" Because It Is Transporting Through Kentucky, Not To Kentucky
- Colorado: Company Lacks Eminent Domain Power To Construct Gas Pipeline
- Arkansas Supreme Court: Pipeline Taking Not A Private Use
- Texas: "Common Carrier" Claim Subject To Actual Judicial Review
- TransCanada XL In Nebraska: "Not An Eminent Domain Case"
The current center of the controversial issue is the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline, and there's been a lot of dis- and mis-information generated. Even Jon Stewart got in on the act.
So it was with relief that we have a new article by our Owners' Counsel of America colleague William Blake, a partner in the Lincoln office of Nebraska law firm Baylor Evnen, TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline: Eminent Domain and Transportation of Energy - Understanding What is Happening in Nebraska, in the current issue of Real Estate Issues, published by the Counselors of Real Estate that cuts through much of the fog surrounding the issue.
Here's the summary:Transcanada Keystone commenced acquisition of right-of-way easements in 2009 for the XL Pipeline, which would run from Alberta, Canada, to Steele City, Nebraska. TransCanada expected to obtain the necessary permit from the State Department, acquire the right-of-way, and complete construction of the pipeline by the end of 2011. Based on prior experience with the Keystone Pipeline, this seemed like a realistic goal. Now, five years later, there is no pipeline, no permit, and not even an approved route through Nebraska. Political candidates from far beyond the Great Plains are taking positions for or against the XL. Labor unions, environmental groups, property rights advocates, and alternative energy advocates all are voicing their opinions and attempting to influence the process. This article examines how the oil giant managed to become blindsided by problems with Nebraska prairie grass and the sandy soil in which it grows, and what it may mean for the XL project and future oil pipelines.
Download the entire issue here. A worthy read.