For Immediate Release
Megan C. Gibson, Niskanen Center
Washington DC Attorneys Defending Oregon Landowners Against Eminent Domain Threat
Medford, Oregon (May 16, 2019) Oregon landowners who have refused to give up their land for the construction of the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline remain staunch in their opposition–despite aggressive efforts by the pipeline company to obtain voluntary agreements from landowners.
“I’ve thought all along that this just can’t be—our government giving a foreign corporation permission to take our land and to export gas to Asia—that this can’t be happening in the country that I know and love,” said cattle rancher Bill Gow. “Our politicians should be taking a stand against this foreign company trying to take my land that I worked long and hard for.”
If the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) allows it, many Oregon landowners like Gow, many of whom are farmers, retirees, cattle ranchers, and people who have put their life savings into their property, will be forced to give up their land via eminent domain for the construction of the Canadian-owned pipeline project. The pipeline would be used to transmit natural gas to the proposed Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility in Coos Bay, Oregon. All of the LNG would be shipped to Asian markets for profit.
David Bookbinder, chief counsel at the Niskanen Center, which represents several landowners pro-bono, says: “All over this country, landowners’ rights are being trumped by pipeline companies’ private interests without any real analysis as to whether such projects are actually in the public interest.”
“We hope that FERC will ultimately understand that nothing about this project can legally justify the seizure of private property, but we will take this all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if we have to,” added Megan C. Gibson, a staff attorney at the Niskanen Center.
Bookbinder and Gibson recently met with landowners along the proposed pipeline route, in a trip coordinated by Deb Evans, an impacted landowner. They, along with Oregon attorney Tonia Moro, will be working closely with Oregon landowners as the Pacific Connector Pipeline project moves through the required regulatory processes. FERC is expected to make its final decision in January of 2020.