Eminent Domain Filed Against Holdout Landowners Opposing Keystone XL pipeline


by Joe Duggan, World-Herald Bureau

LINCOLN — The Canadian company that wants to build the Keystone XL pipeline took legal action Tuesday to secure remaining right of way from a group of holdout Nebraska landowners.

A representative for Trans­Canada Corp. said eminent domain petitions were filed in nine counties against fewer than 90 landowners. The landowners represent the last people along the 1,187-mile pipeline route to refuse voluntary easement agreements.

“This is just another step in the process,” said Andrew Craig, land manager for the Keystone projects. “Eminent domain has a ring of finality, but we still remain committed to reaching voluntary agreements.”

The anticipated action prompted a defiant response from Jane Kleeb, of the environmental advocacy group Bold Nebraska, a leading pipeline opponent.

“Today, Nebraska families are facing an inconceivable moment when land that has been in their hands for generations is being taken away from them by a foreign oil company,” Kleeb said in a press release. “Landowners are prepared to battle TransCanada in court to stop them from using eminent domain for private gain.”

Under a 2012 state law that approved the pipeline route in Nebraska, the company had until last Thursday to file eminent domain actions. Court hearings will follow and an independent panel will determine the value of easements and any crop damage caused by pipeline construction before a judge orders the land condemned for the pipeline’s use.

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Source:  Omaha.com

Posted by Jami Howell

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