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We are among a group of property owners who have had the dual experience of receiving royalties from gas wells, then having our property rights seized for an underground natural gas storage field in the depleted gas wells.
This became a transformative two-year fight for our rights against eminent domain actions launched by Texas-based Spectra Energy Corporation, a natural gas storage company, and backed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
It is not a level playing field legally, economically or ethically for private property owners. Our fight led to the development of this website which focuses specifically on property rights that come under pressure from energy and utility companies.
We fill a gap left by excellent organizations fighting eminent domain — like the Institute for Justice’s Castle Coalition — because they do not deal with the “taking” power of government where utilities and energy companies are concerned.
Eminent domain is a “taking” of property or property rights under the badge of government. Traditionally, the taking is supposed to be for the public good, based on just compensation for property owners. Think of airports, interstate highways and such.
Eminent domain is a growing issue in many communities because the traditional interpretation appears to be changing.
Today, there are too many examples where eminent domain means someone wants your property … and the government helps them take it.
It has less to do with projects for the “public good,” and everything to do with the financial good of publicly held corporations.
This case has attracted attention because it is the first such eminent domain case where a huge underground natural gas storage area is next to a gas-rich recovery area — the Marcellus Shale. In addition, a Spectra Energy VP admitted that he has never seen this level of property owner resistance in 26 years with the gas industry.
Property owners should be treated fairly and as key stakeholders because they possess the asset coveted by government and energy companies: the land.
We are building coalitions with property owners in other states who are fighting for their rights and for transparency in government and the energy industry.
Browse our website and feel free to share information about the issues, the energy industry, and property owners involved in similar battles elsewhere. You can contact us via the link above.
All the best,
Bedford County, Pennsylvania