Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Texas Land Owner Challenges Energy Firm's Purported Common Carrier Status With Right Of Eminent Domain, Condemnation In Effort To Prevent Forced Sale

In Jefferson County, Texas, The Southeast Texas Record reports:

  • Golden Triangle Properties is asking the courts to declare that Williams Field Services-Gulf Coast Co. does not have eminent domain powers in a proposed pipeline extension.

    According to the lawsuit filed July 23 in Jefferson County District Court, GTP is the owner of 1,116.39 acres of land in Jefferson County.

    WFS contends it is a common carrier with the right of eminent domain and condemnation with respect to the proposed extension of the BASF 840 pipeline.

    Williams Field Services-Gulf Coast Company LP is a natural gas distribution company located in Tulsa, Okla., and operates as a subsidiary of Williams Partners L.P.

    According to the company website, Williams is an energy infrastructure company focused on connecting North America's hydrocarbon resource plays to markets for natural gas, natural gas liquids and olefins. Williams' operations span from the deepwater Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian oil sands.

    "Plaintiff contends defendant does not have these rights and would show that defendant has produced no evidence establishing even a colorable claim to these rights," the suit states. "In fact, public records show that defendant is not a common carrier with respect to the proposed extension."

    GTP is seeking a declaratory judgment from the court that WFS has not established its status as a common carrier and thus does not have the power of eminent domain. The company is also seeking to recover court costs and attorney's fees.
Source: Golden Triangle Properties questions company's eminent domain powers.

In a related story, see The Associated Press: Pipelines unhappy with Texas eminent domain ruling.

Go here for the State of Texas Landowner’s Bill of Rights, which applies to any attempt by the government or a private entity to take your Texas property through eminent domain (go here for Spanish version).

Go here for Pipeline Eminent Domain and Condemnation Frequently Asked Questions.

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