May 2014 and Earlier News

5-30-14 WSET 13 Lynchburg, Danville, Roanoke TV Coverage

5-28-14 Lynchburg News & Advance article

5-27-14 Roanoke Times article

5-8-14 AppalachianVoices.  Look out Cleveland: Shareholders, activists converge on Dominion annual shareholder meeting.  Activists in Ohio and shareholders from throughout Dominion Virginia Power’s service area including Virginia converged on Cleveland on Wednesday May 7, to greet the company’s CEO, Thomas Farrell, board and shareholders as they gathered for Dominion Resources’ annual meeting. At the meeting inside, “Dominion faced unprecedented levels of shareholder concern over the financial and environmental risks of expanding its dirty energy portfolio.”

Important Victory for Texas Landowners in Eminent Domain Case.  A 4-20-2014 posting on the Texas Agriculture Law Blog from Texas A&M discusses a Texas ruling that awarded compensation to a landowner for the actual value of the easement sought for a gas pipeline, but also for “remainder damages,” the adverse monetary impact of the easement on the remaining land.

3-25-14  WFPL News (Louisville KY) reports on the ruling by a judge in Kentucky who ruled that Bluegrass pipeline companies don’t have power of eminent domain.  Another report:  3-25-14 Lexington (KY) Herald: Judge: Bluegrass Pipeline developers can’t use eminent domain. “Bluegrass Pipeline Co. cannot use eminent domain to take private property for construction of a natural gas liquids pipeline through Kentucky.”  The judge “held that the power of eminent domain is “an essential attribute of a sovereign government” that cannot be delegated to a private company such as Bluegrass Pipeline “without a clear legislative mandate that such a delegation is in the public interest.”

3-24-14 Yahoo! Finance.  Texas Landowners Win $2.1 Million Judgment Against Pipeline Company Over Lower Property Value. Case marks third landowner victory in pipeline easement disputes. “This verdict sends a strong message that pipeline easements often cause significant damages to property beyond the easement area.” In Virginia, we have a constitutional right to seek just compensation for property damages beyond the easement area.

3-1-14 Virginian-Pilot [Hampton Roads]. In Va. politics, renewable energy dwarfed by big utility. While Virginia’s largest electricity utility enjoys smooth sailing in the halls of the General Assembly, renewable-energy advocates are struggling to get a foothold.

7-22-13  1,500 Fracking Leases Cancelled in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Where “Gasland” Began.  “Certain powerful images really stick with you when you watch Gasland or Gasland 2. First is the shot of the tap water on fire. Equally powerful are the images of the film’s director Josh Fox on his porch strumming his banjo, in the woods on his property, walking by the local stream, and celebrating the pristine beauty of the nearby Delaware River. The film keeps returning to the land that Fox treasures, cluing us in on why he turned down a sizeable offer to lease for gas drilling, and what drove him forth with his camera on a fact-finding journey that culminated in the first Gasland, the film that ignited the fractivism movement…. Since 2007, when leasing began in Wayne County, Fox’s once idyllic rural community has been embattled. And so is a nation divided at a crossroads of energy choice and climate change.  But over the last few weeks, that changed for Wayne County. Hess and Newfield, the two major gas companies leasing land there, decided to cancel their leases in Marcellus shale, and move out of Wayne and much of northeastern PA. The companies sent letters stating that they ‘have elected to release your lease, thus your lease will not be continued to the development phase,’ terminating approximately 1,500 leases covering over 100,000 acres of land.”

9-9-10  Live local news coverage by CBS News of a huge gas-line explosion in a residential neighborhood in San Bruno, California. Thursday, September, 9, 2010, 7:08PM.  This is “clean burning gas” in a 30″ pipe, 90 minutes before PG&E turned off the flow.