Project Report:
Defending against eminent domain abuse by fossil fuel industries
- Investigates the causes of economic imbalances.
- Investigates causes tending to destroy or impair the free-market system.


Pipeline companies are taking property from landowners by using eminent domain authority. Our goal is to litigate cases where favorable decisions could then be used as the basis of challenging pipelines across the country, including cases to establish that pipelines supplying LNG export facilities do not have eminent domain authority; challenging FERC’s practice of delegating its constitutional and statutory obligations to provide notice to landowners that a pipeline wants to take their property; challenging FERC’s authority to approve a pipeline before the pipeline has obtained other required federal approvals; challenging the industry practice of dubbing pipelines "intrastate" in order to avoid the more rigorous NGA review and permitting scheme; requiring pipelines that abandon a project to return land taken to property owners or at least restore it to its pre-construction state; and challenging the ability of pipelines to take possession of property before they pay for it.


Eminent domain is an infringement of private property rights and a subsidy for oil and gas industries; both of these are characteristics that undermine free market principles. It is also an example of the huge disparity in the relative bargaining positions of pipeline companies and landowners. Pipeline companies have vast resources, and build pipelines where the land is cheap, which means where the people are poor, and eminent domain gives the pipelines the virtually unfettered ability to dictate terms to landowners. We are working all three branches of government to address these problems. We are litigating multiple cases to get courts to remedy the problems that are susceptible to judicial resolution. We have drafted amendments to the NGA that would eliminate these problems, and have launched an advocacy campaign to educate Members of Congress regarding the principled issues in play that should compel those that care about property rights to support reforms.


Geographically, we are litigating cases about pipelines located across the country: Texas, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, etc. Legally, our scope includes state, federal, and constitutional law, as necessary.

Amount Approved
$30,000.00 on 6/8/2021 (Check sent: 6/11/2021)

820 1st Street NE, Suite 675
Washington, DC 20002

(202) 899-1161

Posted 3/31/2021 2:47 PM
Updated   10/28/2021 1:40 PM

  • Nonprofit

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