Brian Jorde was recently featured in an Omaha World Herald article detailing the monetary incentives
TransCanada is attempting to offer landowners in exchange for signing easement agreements. TransCanada is currently in the process of seeking federal approval to build Keystone XL, their latest pipeline project which runs through Nebraska.
TransCanada's first Keystone project began in 2009. Back then, the oil giant was using monetary incentives to get landowners to sign easement agreements, giving TransCanada the authority to lay the pipeline through landowners' properties. Anyone who refused was hit with eminent domain. As the second Keystone project begins to roll through the state, the monetary incentives are getting even bigger.
The Omaha World Herald states that recently, TransCanada offered $45,000 per mile in bonuses for landowners who signed these agreements within a 30-day window. This, combined with other bonuses and payments, could result in upwards of $100,000 for landowners. TransCanada's reasoning is that the extra money expended is worth it if the agreements are signed faster, allowing the company to move on with the project at a quicker pace.
Opponents of the pipeline see these "sign now" incentives in a different light. According to Brian Jorde, one of the lawyers representing these Nebraska landowners, these monetary incentives show that the company is struggling to secure the landowner support that they had hoped for, especially since the pipeline reroute in January.
"They're trying to put pressure on people by waving more money," Jorde said. "People are holding out, so they're going to keep upping the prices."
If you would like to learn more on this topic, read the Omaha World Herald article.