Pipeline Companies Ask Legislature for Help
By Kelly Connelly
Pipeline owners in Texas are asking for help from lawmakers after a state Supreme Court ruling limited their ability to take property under eminent domain.
Today the House Land and Resource Management Committee heard from both pipeline operators and landowners on the ruling. The court found that getting a state permit for a pipeline doesn’t automatically grant a company the right to take private property to build it. The ruling also gave landowners the right to challenge land takings in court.
Phil Gamble of the Gas Processors Association pointed to one pipeline that could face challenges from landowners along its path.
“That line is about 700 miles long,” Gamble said. “It’s going to go through 23 counties. It’s not inconceivable that you could get different decisions from different courts along the way.”
But some property rights advocates say the process isn’t stringent enough and that the state isn’t asking whether some pipelines are qualified to take land by eminent domain.