Nelson’s Richard Averitt was at the Envision Forum hosted by the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research and FERC on October 20-21, 2019. He was there along with a couple hundred energy company execs and government policy makers, and was asked to sit on a panel as the only landowner voice.
The gas industry media outlet, Natural Gas Intel, quoted some of Richard’s comments: “‘I think there’s a very serious question about whether eminent domain should ever be used to produce a for-profit export project. I think that’s inconsistent with our beliefs around property rights, but particularly when you look at how the courts have extended the right to eminent domain to include preliminary injunctions, or ‘quick take,’ that collapses on landowners to be an absolute destruction of your right to due process…. The idea that eminent domain is only used as a last resort is a false narrative from a landowner’s perspective. It is used in every pipeline case if it’s on the table. Because when you sit down at the negotiating table, one of the two parties can walk away with virtually no negative impact, and the other one loses everything they care about.’
“In addition, conditional permits issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission leave landowners powerless, Averitt said. Such permits allow companies to seize land and prepare it for pipeline construction, often destroying farmland even if the project never comes to fruition, he said. ‘To enable the taking of private citizen’s land and the destruction of that land at a time when those permits are still in question is unconscionable…that’s not an appropriate due process.'”
Richard thanks fellow landowner supporters Ron Evans and Mayor Kristin McLaughlin, with special thanks to Megan Gibson and Niskanen for getting them in the room.
And we thank Richard for so ably and articulately representing landowners!
Here are YouTube links for Richards comments and to the full panel discussion:
- Richard Opening Remarks – https://youtu.be/JPFtVEVguwg
- Richard Clip 1 – https://youtu.be/d1pTY3BxzUs
- Richard Q&A with Audience – https://youtu.be/OKJk52J-39A
- Richard Final Comment – https://youtu.be/Gz_uD0nwE_s
- 1 Hour Long Panel Full Video – https://youtu.be/B7TCV-jTt3w
To download all of the above, click here.
Read the full Natural Gas Intel article here.