History of eminent domain and pipelines
Reader comment on: Keystone Eminent Domain
Submitted by Lyle (United States), Jan 24, 2015 23:18
Recall in the 1880s the Tidewater group wanted to build a pipeline to Philadelphia from the oil regions of NW Pa. However Standard Oil was in league with the railroads and so since the pipelines did not have eminent domain then could block the pipeline since it had to cross the railroad rights of way. So eminent domain was granted to prevent monopolists from preventing competition.
Actually eminent domain was very much included in the constitution as the 5th amendment provides for fair comphensation for taking land. In particular after the state bankruptcies in the 1840s following the state internal improvements (in particular In) the decision was made to have private companies provide infrastructure thus most of the railroads had eminent domain powers where the land was not owned by the Federal government otherwise at least the right of was was a free grant to the RR companies. The government never got out of the canal and river improvement business however. As a result of the railroads charging more for a short haul than a long one among other factor the pendulum swung to government built roads in the twentyth century.
Note: Comments are moderated by the editor and are subject to editing.
Other reader comments on this item
Comment on this item