Attorney Dave Domina was interviewed by Washington Post reporter Reid Wilson to discuss TransCanada, Keystone XL, and eminent domain.
Of all the states that TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline is set to run through, Nebraska is the only one with residents still refusing to sign easements. Just yesterday, TransCanada went to local courts in nine Nebraska counties and filed papers to secure
eminent domain rights to build on Nebraska landowners' property. Last week, Domina Law Group filed new, dual lawsuits, in hopes of getting the Nebraska Supreme Court to make the decision they failed to make last time.
Dave Domina told the Post,
"The court will have to decide the issue that wasn't decided on Jan. 9, which is, is the Nebraska statute under which TransCanada proceeds unconstitutional? We think we have an enormously strong likelihood [of winning] on the merits."
According to TransCanada official Andrew Craig, invoking eminent domain is a "last resort" and that the company's hope is to make agreements outside of court, which some Nebraskans have accepted.
Although TransCanada will compensate Nebraskans for their land, Domina says he doesn't trust the estimates. The papers filed by TransCanada Tuesday will initiate hearings to determine how much compensation the landowners are entitled to, provided that the proceedings are even allowed to continue.
President Obama has expressed his dissent to the KXL route on a number of occasions, citing environmental concerns, but right now that decision lies with the Senate, which will debate the pipeline measure and make a decision within days. With Republican majority, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's pipeline bill is expected to pass.
For more information, read the article as it appeared in the Washington Post – Keystone XL Company Files Eminent Domain Papers Against Nebraska Landowners.