Are we surprised?
On Thursday, November 23rd, John Bruce reported in The Recorder, Highland County’s newspaper, that “land values near Dominion’s proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline have dropped substantially in anticipation of construction next year.”
This was not supposed to happen. To the contrary, the public was assured by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that the approval of the pipeline would not affect land values. In reality the Highland County Reassessment Office reports that a dozen properties within half a mile of the proposed line are showing an average decline of 36% along Valley Center Road, the decline ranging from 10 to 67%.
FERC maintains that because property owners are paid by Dominion for the rights to their property in perpetuity, that should, theoretically, compensate for their loss of assessed value. This is a dubious argument at best. Furthermore, it completely ignores the collateral cost to adjacent landowners who receive no compensation for the loss of value of their land. It is bad enough that Dominion can seize property by eminent domain. That this will cause economic hardship to countless neighboring landowners and local governments along the pipeline’s 500-mile route is a hidden form of theft, for which the corporation assumes no responsibility. Just because it is legal does not make it right.
The Newsleader – George Taylor – 12.13.2017
Posted by Nelson Bailey