Pipelines and eminent domain
It’s one of those struggles that involves two things very dear to Texans, business and private property.
The Lone Star State is very business friendly, and a major oil producer.
We are also an independent people, who value the right to private property and minimal governmental intrusion.
That’s at the core of the fight going on right now in Austin.
Should pipeline companies have the right of eminent domain, like a highway or other civic, community project?
The most famous example right now is the Canadian-owned Keystone XL pipeline that will run through huge chunks of East Texas.
Under current law, a pipeline owner may label themselves a “Common Carrier” by simply checking a box on a business form.
The Texas Farm Bureau, which represents the interests of farmers and ranchers in the state, would like that bar to be set a bit higher.
And establishing a fair set of rules for the road for both landowners and pipeline operators was a big goal this session.
Sadly, it was one that wasn’t met.