Eminent Domain Pipeline Reform – Listen up Railroad Commission!

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The Railroad Commission recently promulgated rule changes to supposedly reform the process for pipeline companies to receive the power to seize private property through eminent domain.

Remember the "T-4" form at the Railroad Commission (RRC) that allows a pipeline company to claim common carrier status by simply checking a box? This is what gave them the power to seize Julia Trigg Crawford's, David Holland's and thousands of others' land -- against their will. They're running tar sands crude over hundreds of East Texas water ways. They're running other high pressure and dangerous Liquified Natural Gas pipelines, like the one within 50 feet of Isom Ramsey's door in Beaumont. (More here on our website).

What's that you say? The RRC will reform itself when pigsfly.
We know, but do it anyway!

For background, read this helpful piece from the Star-Telegram newspaper and visit the Eminent Domain section on this website here.

We, the people, must continue to assert our rights to local control. Eminent domain can now be used to seize private land for water pipelines too, y'all!

For upcoming events keep checking our calendar right here. If there isn't something going on where you are, let us know and we'll help make something happen!

10 comments

    1. Hello Shirley,

      We neither purchase nor well email addresses, though I’m not sure how we got yours. It appears that you signed our water petition a few years ago and that’s how we “met” you. Thanks for signing this one too!

  1. The new rules do nothing to address the concern of the citizen whose land is being taken for private gain. Many of these pipelines are owned by foreign companies. Why would one let a foreign company control pipelines? And why would you allow any company to take ownership of someone’s property without paying fair market value, especially since it is chopping up one’s parcel, and in the case of tar sands can render much of one’s property landlocked.

    Yes, we need to have pipelines just like we need to have easements for power lines. However, there is no oversight to even find out if the product being carried in the pipelines even stays in the U.S., much less Texas. Nor is there any oversight to find out if the company requesting eminent domain status is a public or private company.

    No private company should be allowed to take ones’ land via eminent domain.

    If would be nice to have elected officials who actually put the citizens’ interest ahead of the interest of private corps and lobbyists.

    1. There’s a great case to be made to get rid of eminent domain for any private company. Just realize, we are inputting on the rules at the Railroad Commission so we’re not talking to them about wholesale change. We DO need to be in a position to do that with the legislature. A large membership that is activated is needed to do that. So, please join the League and hep us build a chapter in your community.

      Thanks for sharing a comment too!

  2. Thank you, Linda, for bringing this matter to the attention of Texans and Texas landowners. More needs to be done. Hopefully your organization will lead the way in examining what other substantive changes in condemnation law are needed to fully and fairly and adequately protect landowners and the environment and then to pressure state lawmakers to pass those needed law changes if they wish to stay in office. The same can be said for the need for the law to change to protect the quality and quantity of our water and air in Texas.

    1. Sho nuff, John.

      Come January 2015, when the legislature convenes, they need to see the whites of our eyes. That would be thousands of Texas voters having stepped back from the partisanship. No more straight ticket voting. No one owns our votes because they must earn them.

    1. You mean “should” only be used. Right now, private entities are using it out the wazoo. We need reform in a very big way in this state, which is why we’re building the League. You can’t get reform being captives of either party. They take us, and our votes, for granted.

      Please join the League!

  3. There just doesn’t seem to be enough consideration for our property rights or the environment of many politicians from any party. Loosing our basic personal rights and/or contamination of our water/air are the most serious subjects that need to be addressed. Where is the concern from our political leaders?

    1. Agreed. They want us to stay in our respective corners arguing about issues, like abortion or immigration, which we don’t agree on or are so stuck in hyper-partisanship. We might, as a citizenry, someday be able to discuss those issues but we have to now unite on the basics of what government is supposed to be about — protecting the so-called “commons”.

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