February 9, 2013
Land Battles Rise as U.S. Eyes 450,000 Miles of New Pipe (Mike Lee & Ken Wells - Feb 4, 2013, Bloomberg)
Posted by Orrin Judd at February 9, 2013 7:12 AMWhen a power company tried to run cables over land owned by Larry Salois's mother near Cut Bank, Montana, the native American fought the $400 million project.He lost when the state passed a law forcing him to sell a right-of-way. Typical of U.S. property battles sparked by the quest for energy security, Tonbridge Power Inc. said it needed the most direct path for its electric line to wind farms, even though it would run across land holding a historical icon. [...]With the natural gas industry estimating that 450,000 miles (724,000 kilometers) of pipelines need to be built in the next 25 years, a distance to the moon and almost back to earth, conflicts will multiply over eminent domain, or the legal power to condemn private property.Land owners increasingly are pit against private businesses in state legislatures and courts as the U.S. confronts the new transmission lines, pipelines and compressor stations needed to reduce oil imports and produce clean energy at home.