Below is information on what I’ve been working on in the Appalachia region. Please feel free to call me if you’d like to discuss further… thank you for your time, possible interest and any support you can give!
Bold Alliance has been working to grow the Bold Appalachia Landowner Alliance (BALA), an opportunity for landowners to link up and stand strong together in order to challenge and fight back, exhausting all options to stop the proposed MVP and proposed ACP. There is still time to become a part of the BALA and participate in the pending lawsuits we are filing against FERC. Funds are coming in from various networks and groups, and we are welcoming any donation towards the effort; whether $5 or $500, every dollar helps as we prepare to file the suit.
But money is NOT as important as YOU – the landowners and pipeline fighters who are passionate about stopping the ACP and MVP. We are inviting ALL who wish to join the alliance to sign up and unite in the fight to defend the land.
We are encouraging any landowner (in WV/VA/NC) whose property is used for the permanent or temporary pipeline easement, access roads, work space and facilities which would potentially subject to eminent domain to participate in the lawsuit, drafted by attorney Carolyn Elefant of Washington D.C.
Here is a summary of the four points that we intend to hit in our lawsuit against FERC:
1. Clause of the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution. In enacting the Natural Gas Act, Congress delegated eminent domain authority to private companies engaged in transportation of gas in interstate commerce for distribution to the ultimate consumer. Congress never intended to delegate eminent domain powers to private corporations to enable them to take private property for construction of pipelines that transport gas for use in foreign commerce or do not serve domestic consumers.
2. FERC’s policy of encouraging private companies with no inherent power of eminent domain to negotiate landowners to acquire property necessary for a project prior to issuance of a certificate violates the Fifth Amendment of the Takings Clause and Section 7f(h) of the Natural Gas Act by emboldening companies to fraudulently threaten landowners with condemnation to trick or force them to sell their property for a fraction of constitutionally-mandated just compensation and predetermining the outcome of the case. Moreover, by allowing companies to begin property acquisitions in advance of receipt of the certificate, FERC has improperly prejudged the outcome of the case in violation of due process and the Administrative Procedure Act.
3. FERC’s policy of issuing conditioned certificates that authorize eminent domain violates Section 7f(h) of the Natural Gas Act, which restricts companies to using condemnation authority for property “necessary” to construct and operate the project. Because it is impossible to determine whether the project will be built at all, or whether certain property will be necessary for construction and operation until a company has received all of its permits, authorizing use of eminent domain prior to final project approval by all agencies violates Section 717f(h).
4. FERC’s practice of granting “blanket certificates” that authorize use of eminent domain for future upgrades, interconnections and above-ground facilities (including compressor stations) along the pipeline route without any subsequent finding of public need at the time these facilities are proposed constitutes an anticipatory taking in derogation of landowner’s property rights (Tennessee Gas v. RI) and in violation of the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
The parties seek a declaration that these practices are unconstitutional and ask FERC to enjoin use of eminent domain for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
This lawsuit will focus both on the constitutionality of use of eminent domain, but will also argue that even if eminent domain is constitutional as a general proposition, the way that it is being used in each pipeline case violates the Natural Gas Act.
We plan on filing both lawsuits (one for ACP and one for MVP) in the Federal District Court in Washington D.C. by August 29th, with an action planned for Thursday, August 31st at 11AM in front of FERC. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to call me (540-488-4358) or email email@example.com.
YOU matter. Your land matters. Your participation is important. Together we are stronger! Join the Bold Appalachia Landowner Alliance today!
P.S. Please forward this email to landowners and others who may wish to join or support the landowner alliance!