Eminent domain reform has united farmers, ranchers and rural landowners. Those same folks also understand the importance of the oil and gas industry. We must have the means to move energy across the state. Will we continue to do that on the backs of property owners?
This is the property rights issue of our time. The Legislature is struggling toward a decision. A House committee hearing in Austin last week demonstrated both the unity of landowners and the power of oil and gas interests.
It’s difficult to see how fair offers and transparency, both addressed in proposed legislation, will affect the bottom line or the schedule of pipeline construction. It is certain that many corporations take property the right way. It’s just as certain that a lot of bad actors are all too willing to take advantage of landowners who can’t afford to fight back.
It’s time to decide. Will we live up to our property rights reputation?