BY: Citizens Count
With Kinder Morgan planning a gas pipeline route through southern New Hampshire, some residents are concerned about the company using eminent domain to take private land.
Federal law allows approved interstate pipelines to take private land, provided that a fair price is paid. Ideally the pipeline serves a greater public good, providing energy and lowering gas prices. Some private landowners still feel the process is unfair.
On behalf of one of his constituents, Rep. Jim Belanger (R-Hollis) is sponsoring two bills that could counter the power of eminent domain.
One bill would let landowners request that the company buying a piece of land be required to take the whole parcel.
The other bill would let towns vote on whether a company should be allowed to take land. Belanger is not sure the vote could be legally binding, but the vote would allow towns to express their opinions to the federal government.