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Eminent Domain: In Texas, Landowners Face Continued Uncertainty

Jake White, a Jefferson Country farmer, looks at a section of the Crosstex NGL pipeline before it is buried under his field.

This is part one of a three-part series devoted to looking at efforts to overhaul eminent domain in Texas and what may come next for landowners, pipeline companies, and the oil and gas industry.

A rush is on in the state of Texas.  As the drilling fields in the West and South of the state produce ever more oil and gas, companies are scrambling for ways to bring it to market.  Pipelines are the preferred method. But what happens if a landowner doesn’t want a pipeline on their property? In that case, the company can claim the right to take land simply by checking a box on a government form. Efforts to reign in that power have – so far- - proven elusive. As KUT’s Mose Buchele reports forState Impact Texas, that means continued uncertainty for landowners in Texas.

COMING WEDNESDAY: In the next installment of our three-part series StateImpact Texas will explore what happened to efforts at state legislature to overhaul eminent domain, and what the failure of those efforts means for landowners, pipeline companies, and oil and gas in Texas.