For nearly a decade, Domina Law Group pc llo has been working with landowners
and concerned groups in investigating legal issues and challenging TransCanada
Corp.’s assertion it can exert powers of
eminent domain to take US Citizens land for its proposed tar sands sludge pipeline. Nebraska
has been and continues to be the battleground for this international issue.
The lawsuit filed to defend the Nebraska Constitution and protect individual
liberties and landowner property rights is currently in the Nebraska Supreme
Court in the briefing stage. Oral argument is likely late fall of 2014
or very early 2015.
We have carefully researched the legal issues and interplay of Federal,
State, and Local laws regarding whether or not a foreign company whose
project will not benefit American citizens can condemn lands in furtherance
of its profits as well as the relationship between Federal and State authority
over safety and siting regulations.
TransCanada may try to take your land soon. They may ask you for permission
to survey your land or they may try to get you to sign an Easement where
you sign all your rights away for a one-time nominal payment. Contact
us if you want to know more about these issues and how to negotiate for
a fair deal and how to protect your land from an oil spill.
Nebraskans must be informed about their rights and landowners and citizens.
Contact us now to learn more about what tools are available to you when
dealing with TransCanada.
When evaluating a Pipeline Companies construction project that proposes
to traverse multiple states and privately owned land there are many issues
that must be addressed either through legislative initiative and/or through
the courts such as:
- Who controls the siting and routing of oil pipelines?
- What bonding requirements are there to address effects of construction?
- What systems are in place for emergency response for spills?
- How will land owners know there are fairly compensated for a taking of
- What can Landowners do if they do not want to sell to TransCanada?
- How do value the financial impact of an Oil pipeline running under your land?
- Who ultimately bares the liability for spills after TransCanada is back
- What is the reclamation and removal plan?
- How can TransCanada guarantee no spills when removing the pipeline?
- Do I need a Pipeline Lawyer who understands Pipeline Law to protect my rights?
- How much money is the Pipeline Company offering landowners?
- What are Oil Pipeline Companies paying per linear foot?
Dave Domina Outside Holt County Court to Discuss TransCanada Lawsuit
Watch Brian Jorde and Nebraska landowners on MSNBC's "The Ed Show"
Learn more about Domina Law's Work on Tarsands Oil Pipelines:
Brian Jorde Speaks about the Keystone XL Pipeline and Landowner Rights:
Some of Domina Law's Work Below:
Nebraskans File Lawsuit Challenging Constitutionality of LB 1161 Related
Three Nebraska landowners filed suit in two Nebraska courts challenging
a new state law governing routes for crude oil pipelines and the use of
eminent domain for pipeline routes across the State. The Nebraska Legislature's
2012 law, LB 1161 gives the Governor a role in route selection and authority
to allow a pipeline company to take land from Nebraskans for pipeline
operations. Domina Law Group pc llo serves as legal counsel for the landowners.
Timeline of Landowners’ Constitutional Challenge of LB 1161
- February 12, 2015 - Hearing Held on Landowners Motion for Temporary Injunction
Preventing TransCanada from Exercising Eminent Domain Powers
- February 4, 2015 - Landowners File Motion for Temporary Injunction Against
- January 16, 2015 - Landowners File Two Lawsuits Challenging LB 1161
- January 9, 2015 - Supreme Court Opinion
- September 5, 2014 - Oral Arguments Held in Nebraska Supreme Court
- June 20, 2014 - Landowners file response brief in Nebraska Supreme Court
- February 19, 2014 - Judge's Order - LB1161 Is Declared Unconstitutional
September 27, 2013 - Trial in District Court on Landowner Lawsuit Defending
Constitution and Individual Rights (Televised)
- June 11, 2013 - Judge's Order on Defendants' 2nd Motion to Dismiss
(6/11/13) - Landowner Victory
- December 31, 2012 - Court issues Order overruling Attorney General’s
Motion to Dismiss the landowners’ lawsuit
- May 23, 2012 - Landowners file initial Complaint against Governor, the
DEQ, and the State Treasurer
- July 11, 2012 - State of Nebraska Attorney General’s Office on behalf
of the State Defendants files a Motion to Dismiss the landowners’ lawsuit
- March 18, 2013 - Landowners file their Second Amended Complaint Challenging
the constitutionality of LB 1161
- March 25, 2013 - Nebraska Attorney General’s Office on behalf of
the State Defendants files its Second Motion to Dismiss Landowners’ lawsuit
- May 3, 2013 - All legal briefing and arguments completed regarding the
State’s second Motion to Dismiss
The next steps in the lawsuit are as follows:
1. District Court Judge to decide whether or not portions of the landowners’
lawsuit should be dismissed. The next steps in the lawsuit are as follows:
2. Presuming the lawsuit or any portion of the lawsuit can move forward,
the parties will agree on a stipulation of facts then draft briefs further
arguing the constitutionality of LB 1161 with the trial expected in August, 2013.
Does a Pipeline Company really need a survey of your land?
David Domina and Brian Jorde also cautioned landowners against allowing
any entry on their land by TransCanada representatives. "They say
all they want is a little look, and will give you $500 or so for the privilege.
Then they ask you to provide your social security number. What do you
suppose they can learn about you once they have the pass key to information
about you that most people would never dream is public!", Dave Domina said.
Brian Jorde added, "Everyone knows that in 2012 it is not necessary
for them to walk your farm to decide on the pipeline route. It has been
flown, photographed, viewed from space, and scrutinized with soil maps,
topography maps and every other kind of resource. The goal is to break
down barriers and get landowners to say yes the first time because after
that it is so much easier to manipulate someone."
Pipeline News & Updated Trial News
Lawsuit Filed Against Nebraska Department of Environmental Equality
NE Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Constitutional Challenge
TransCanada Begins to Offer Landowners More Money
First Hearing in KXL Suit Before Judge Stacy
Judge Stacy Agrees to Hear Challenge to KXL Law
Environmental Impact of Keystone XL Pipeline
Anti-Keystone Pipeline Resolution
State’s Second Attempt to Get Rid of Lawsuit Fails
Keystone Decision Pushed to 2014
Judge Prepares to Hear Arguments
Judge’s Decision September 2013
Pipeline Safety and Risks
TransCanada continues to make bold safety claims about Keystone XL as it did about the original Keystone pipeline, its first
ever tar sands pipeline: “Keystone XL Pipeline will be the safest
and most advanced pipeline operation in North America.” Would it
not be common sense that any pipeline built today should by definition
be safer than a pipeline built yesterday? Doesn’t basic evolution
in technology, materials, and safety devices make such a statement obvious?
Hopefully all construction projections are safer than those of yesteryear
but anything that is constructed ultimately fails sooner or later.
Do you suppose that Exxon told the good people of Mayflower, Arkansas that
the pipeline they were building 60 years ago was the safest in North America?
Of course there were. What about Enbridge tar sands pipeline in Kalamazoo,
Michigan – safest in North America when constructed correct? Well
those safe pipelines have led to over $1,000,000,000 in clean-up efforts,
devastated the environment, and wreaked havoc on thousands of people’s
health and lives.
TransCanada stated that its original Keystone pipeline would “meet or exceed world-class
safety and environmental standards.”
In its first year, that pipeline experienced 12 separate spills in the
United States – nearly one every month. One of those spills alone
released 21,000 gallons of dirty tar sands oil. Between the U.S. and Canada,
the original Keystone pipeline had “over 30 spills” in its
first year, according to a report by Cornell University’s Global
Since then, the line was temporarily
shut down in 2012, a
few weeks ago, and just
the other day.
The Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials
Safety Administration (PHMSA) previously shut the pipeline down under
a Corrective Action Order stating continued operation of the pipeline
would be “hazardous to life, property and the environment.” It was the newest pipeline to ever be shut down by PHMSA for being
a threat to public safety.
If you have been affected by a pipeline spill, or leak, or accident, call
us today to find out what options are available to you and what compensation
contact us today.
Landowners - Know Your Rights!
A new group of landowners has formed to ban together to secure the best
easement agreement and terms possible should the pipeline project go through.
Click here for more information:
TransCanada has been contacting landowners requesting authorization to
enter upon private property and conduct surveys and other tests. You DO
NOT need to sign any papers nor do you need to allow them to enter on
your land. Further, in the future expect threats in some cases and scare
tactics designated to pressure landowners to sign easements when the landowners
do not fully understand all of the ramifications both near term and far.
Contact a lawyer if you are being approached with an Easement Agreement
and understand your rights. You DO NOT need to sign anything at any time!!
You DO NOT have to even talk to TransCanada or respond to any of their
inquiries let alone sign any Easement Agreement!!
The proposed easement agreements, both temporary and permanent, do not
adequately address the real financial and environmental impact that would
be caused by the pipeline construction, operation or removal.
If you are a landowner or potential affected party you may have legal
rights and remedies pursuant to TransCanada’s project. We are telling
all of our clients to IGNORE TransCanada's "final" offers.
IF TransCanada gets approval for the pipeline and you have not signed
an Easement Agreement ask yourself this question: "Would I be more
fairly compensated by a jury made up from among my neighbors or would
TransCanada give me the fairest deal in my individual negotiations with
them?" We hope the answer to this is clear to you. Force the best
price and terms by holding out and forcing a condemnation proceeding where
you actually have a chance.
Do the Figures Tell the Story?
TransCanada and its Early Proposals
1. Early information suggests that TransCanada’s buying spree across
Nebraska is only at bargain basement prices. This appears to be the math.
2. TransCanada needs to cross about 250 miles of this state with its KeystoneXL
Pipeline. At 5,280 feet per mile, times 250 miles, the company expects
to have 1,320,000 linear feet of pipeline across Nebraska.
3. Recently, the company appears to be offering about $16.00 per linear
foot. At this rate to purchase its temporary construction easements, and
its permanent pipeline easements, the company would spend $21,120,000.00
to cross the state.
4. Now, $21,120,000.00 is a lot of money. But, in a project slated to
cost tens of billions of dollars, can anyone really believe this is the
company’s final position to Nebraska landowners?
5. Imagine the amounts spent by TransCanada to:
5.1. Lobby the United States Congress so much that TransCanada got its
pipeline into a bill passed by the House of Representatives.
5.2. Lobby the State Department, and the President, for a Presidential Permit.
5.3. Feed the political machine with contributions to office holders and
office seekers just at the federal level to get the company’s way.
5.4. Lobby the Legislature of:
5.4.4. North Dakota;
5.4.5. South Dakota;
5.4.6. Nebraska- including a special session;
6. What did it take to persuade the governors in most of the states along
the route to want to try to facilitate TransCanada’s construction,
instead of protect their own people?
7. What did a special legislative session of the Nebraska Legislature
cost TransCanada? What did they have to spend to get the special session
redone with a last minute amendment that appears to have duped the Legislature?
8. It is unimaginable that TransCanada’s investment in real estate
interests in the acquisition of easements across Nebraska, could command
so little money by comparison to the enormous expenditures to the company
in other areas of the pipeline project.
Other Tips Include:
1. Do not take phone calls from TransCanada or return them. Silence is
the best option at this point. Keep all written correspondence TransCanada
sends and keep it organized in chronological order. Have a file and think
of it as evidence.
2. Do not be seduced into any oral conversation. Force TransCanada to
put any and all requests in writing. Record all oral exchanges with TransCanada
representatives and contractors in a note taking system or journal including
the time of day of the call and who called.
3. Ignoring TransCanada is the best option. They have no right to come
on to your land. If they do, you can call the local authorities and file
trespassing charges against them. If they are on your land without your
permission take photographs if possible to document.
Contact Us Now to Discuss Your Rights