Pipeline Companies May Seek Eminent Domain

By Timothy McNulty, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Sitting in his family’s 1785 stone farmhouse, Fayette County’s Jim Rosenberg may look out on his 49.5 acres one day soon and see a natural gas company digging a 50-foot-wide Marcellus Shale pipeline through his property — regardless of whether he approved of it.

Unlike their immediate neighbors in rural Grindstone — three miles east of Brownsville — Mr. Rosenberg and his wife have already resisted requests to drill conventional natural gas wells on the property they’ve lived on since 1974. If gas companies make pleas to build a pipeline through their land, they plan to resist those too, but they may not have a choice.

It’s the latest worry for those Pennsylvanians suspicious of the growing Marcellus Shale industry. Under applications currently before the Public Utility Commission in Harrisburg, pipeline companies would be able to use condemnation powers to gain rights-of-way, even from unwilling landowners.

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