Nebraska Eminent Domain Used For The Acquisition Of The Keystone Pipeline

923 words - 4 pages

The concept of eminent domain is the condemnation of property for the public’s well being or good for private use is not the original intention and should not be used in this way. Private corporations and individuals are using the initial purpose was for the acquisition of land for the building of railroads and highways. The use of eminent domain has changed over the years by law, government and legal interpretations. These changes have allowed private interest groups to petition the state and local governments for eminent domain to be declared on property where the owners refuse to sell. Each states position on eminent domain is decided by the legislature and the voters of the state ...view middle of the document...

Thus, the new pipeline or expansion depending on one’s point of view now will traverse a new path through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. TransCanada position in the need to build the Keystone XL Pipeline is that the increase capacity and route will allow it to supply crude to more refineries and ability to export for currently the pipeline has no direct access to a port. In addition, the pipelines shorter route to Steel City will shorten the delivery time. TransCanada position is that these reasons are justification of eminent domain. Eminent domain has been used for the building of pipelines for years and this pipeline should not be different.
The land owners and others in the Nebraska and other states feel differently on the position of eminent domain for the building of pipelines. I would have to agree that decisions and positions of the past should not be used to blindly decide on the future. Within the court cases by private land owners, their attorney David Domina stated “The legislature is not empowered to delegate power to a private company at the expense of its residents.” The eminent domain suits in Nebraska is about the separation of powers for the state legislature gave the Governor of the state the right to take private land and then give it to TransCanada. On February 9, 2014 Judge Stephanie Stacy invalidated the portion of the eminent domain law that had stream lined the methods for obtaining eminent domain condemnation. The ruling stated that the law divested the state’s public utilities commission of their authority in determining the route of the pipeline. It should be noted that it did not rule against the use of eminent domain for land seizure to build the...

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