U.S. Eyes 450,000 Miles of New Pipe - Eminent Domain Battles Expected

February 21, 2013

In Arkansas, we have seen the explosion of natural gas production and it has had a significant impact on our State. As the demand for an alternative to foreign oil continues to rise, so does the demand for domestic production infrastructure to harvest the country's natural resources. Often the land necessary to construct the new infrastructure will be acquired by eminent domain. Arkansas landowners have faced the threat of eminent domain and condemnation by natural gas companies over the last few years as the move to tap the natural gas deposits in the Fayetteville Shale have increased. Based on a recent article by Bloomberg, these takings are anticipated to increase.

In the article, Land battles rise as U.S. eyes 450,000 miles of new pipe, the natural gas industry estimates that over the next 25 years the U.S. will need to construct 450,000 miles of new pipeline to utilize the country's natural gas deposits. With the increased demand for engergy, the author notes that "[l]and owners increasingly are pit against private businesses in state legislatures and courts as the U.S. confronts the new transmission lines, pipelines and compressor stations needed to reduce oil imports and produce clean energy at home. Lines between pro-green energy Democrats and pro-economic development Republicans can blur as farmers and ranchers object to being handed lease agreements and a pen, with little room to negotiate."

What I find most important about the article is the perception of the idea that landowners "have little room to negotiate." Although I agree that it is unlikely to stop the project as a whole, an Arkansas landowner is entitled to a jury trial to ensure that he or she receives just compensation for the taking of private property by eminent domain and condemnation. Based on representing numerous clients in eminent domain and condemnation cases, we believe that landowners should retain an experienced Arkansas eminent domain attorney to negotiate on their behalf and if an acceptable result cannot be reached, the landowners should proceed with condemnation and let a jury decide the amount of just compensation owed for the taking of private property for public use

As Arkansas Condemnation Lawyers, Moffitt & Phillips, represent landowners across the state in eminent domain and condemnation cases. We work with our clients to ensure they receive just compensation required under the Arkansas Constitution. Additionally, we offer our clients a contingency fee. This allows our clients to keep all compensation initially offered by the condemnor and only pay attorney's fees if the Arkansas eminent domain law firm of Moffitt & Phillips obtains the landowner additional compensation for the taking. Our fee agreement removes the financial burden of hiring lawyers working on an hourly basis and gives landowners access to experienced eminent domain lawyers to fight for the just compensation they deserve.

If you are facing eminent domain or condemnation in Arkansas, contact the experienced condemnation law firm of Moffitt & Phillips today.

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