Legal Journalist for The Trial Lawyer Magazine, talks with Mike about how Virginia property owners are going to court, saying the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is overstepping its bounds in allowing a private company to seize their land to build a for-profit pipeline.

Transcript of the above video:

Mike Papantonio: Virginia property owners are going to court saying the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is overstepping its bounds in allowing a private company to seize their land to build a for profit pipeline. Joining me now to talk about this is Mollye Barrows, legal journalist for the Trial Lawyer Magazine. Mollye in this case, we’ve heard imminent domain is supposedly there for the public good. It’s so the government can take a piece of property for the public good.

Mollye Barrows: Right.

Mike Papantonio: Not the private good. What’s your take on this? This is kind of a crazy little development, isn’t it?

Mollye Barrows: Well, it’s interesting and in fact, if the plaintiffs win this lawsuit it could have repercussions across the country for any number of other pipeline projects. As you know, eminent domain has long been a controversial issue. The government coming in, taking property from private owners, but like you said, it’s supposed to be for the public use. Well, in this particular instance, apparently the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has regularly been handing out these permits to these pipeline companies based on the fact that, ‘Hey, they’re providing natural gas to somebody somewhere, so it’s for public use.’

Well, these particular residents in Virginia and West Virginia have filed a suit saying, ‘Yeah, well your 300 mile long pipeline, we own property right alongside of it, you’re taking our property and the constitution says it’s supposed to be for public use. Well, it’s not for our public use and it’s also, we’re supposed to be compensated for it.’ Neither of which, they say, the federal government or this company, the Mountain Valley Pipeline, are demonstrating an intent to really compensate them or use this natural gas for their good. They’re contesting this based on the fact that their constitutional rights are being violated.

Mike Papantonio: I mean, their property rights, their constitutional rights, their ownership rights, all are being violated here. This is a good case. This is something that the attorney absolutely should make big end roads, because it’s an important case. What’s the story behind, though, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission getting involved in this? Why are they involved?

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The Ring of Fire Network – Mike Papantonio – 08.20.2017

Posted by Nelson Bailey

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