Its not just pipelines that abuse the power of eminent domain. In the late 1960's, Burlington Northern, wanted to widen the track and broaden the S-turn on the tracks 1 to 2 miles west of East Glacier Park. Through threats of condemnation under laws of eminent domain, BN was able to obtain the land through our property and our neighbor's to the west of us. That's 50 years ago. To date BNSF has done nothing to widen and broaden S-curve using any part of the land they obtained nor do they intend to. So under false pretense, private organizations can take private property without any consequences. If they want it, they just invent something that appears plausible, and they can take it and never have to follow through with their stated intentions.
Eminent domain allows governmental agencies and private corporation to take over private property at basement bargain costs. My own experience with two natural gas pipe lines have been anything but positive. While you supposedly retain ownership of the land, you no longer have the right to make decisions on what to do with that land. To build, develop, even to farm (plowing might disrupt the pipeline) that land and any land adjacent to it require getting permission from the Pipeline Company. In addition it is common knowledge that disturbed land such as a ditch dug for the pipeline, is the breeding grounds of most invasive weeds. The only positive gain we received was an agreement that the pipeline company would aggressively control the weeds on the line. Negative part I have to argue with the pipeline company each time about weed controlling and they only take action on the weeds on the pipeline not the adjacent land. I have to take care of the adjacent land. Look around East Glacier Park Montana at the weed pattern. It follows two paths, the railroad and the pipeline.
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