Is Atlantic Coast Pipeline Abusing Eminent Domain at Expense of Private Property Owners?

Several conservative state lawmakers have long track records of fighting the abuse of eminent domain in defense of private property rights. Whether for road and rail construction, government mandated ‘green spaces,’ or economic development projects, the forceful taking of private property from its rightful owners is not consistent with individual liberty.

The United States Supreme Court decided, in the 2005 case of Kelo v. City of New London, that the transferring of land from one private owner to another private owner for the purpose of economic development is a permissible definition of “public use.”

Now a Leftist policy outfit from North Carolina is feigning deference for private property rights in a piece that documents possible abuse of eminent domain by the powers behind the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which will traverse North Carolina.

“The Gardner farm in Wade, population 567, in Cumberland County has been in the family for more than 70 years. On these 960 acres, two generations of Gardners have raised grains, oats, barley, soybeans, and more recently, beef cattle.

But the Gardner family is now among several defendants in a federal case involving the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. ACP, LLC, which includes majority owners Duke Energy and Dominion Energy, filed several motions over the past week asking US District Court Judge Terence Boyle to allow them to use eminent domain to seize portions of the defendants’ property. However, what distinguishes this case is that ACP, LLC wants to take the property without paying the land owners first. This is known as a “quick take.”

Similar documents have been filed against five defendants, including owners of a strawberry farm, in Nash County.”

The general argument for allowing expanded development and distribution of energy resources, such as the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, is a solid one that is consistent with free market principles that yield the highest quality of life.

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That being said, otherwise capitalist enterprises that leverage government force to take private property without just compensation should be called out.

It’s not that the overly sensitive concerns of environmentalist wackos should be given any weight at all in these discussions – they shouldn’t be – but that the fight for freedom should be applied with intellectual consistency.

These private property owners deserve to have their property rights respected, not cast aside for the benefit of ‘public use.’

With that in mind, feel free to read the rest of the alarm piece from the Leftists while considering that even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while.

 

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