eminent domain and pipelines
Reader comment on: Keystone Eminent Domain
Submitted by Douglas Levene (United States), Jan 23, 2015 19:02
The use of eminent domain by public carriers (railroads, pipelines, etc.) to acquire the land necessary to construct a route is quite well established. This is neither new nor controversial. The tougher question is the price to be paid - is it the fair market value of the easement once it has been created? or the fair market value of the land taken - which in New York is measured by the value of the land before the pipeline is built minus the value after - and that is usually a very, very low number, even though the pipeline owner is now the proud owner of a very valuable easement. Another way to look at the problem: is it the value that would be reached in an arm's length sale with no coercion of either side, or the dimishment in the value of the landowner's property? I don't know what the law is in the states where Keystone is going to run but that seems to me to be the interesting question.
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