Canadian company, TransCanada, under its U.S. subsidiary Keystone Pipeline, has been working to obtain easements across the mid-west and Texas for a proposed pipeline. The company has threatened owners with eminent domain if they are unwilling to grant the company an easement. The proposed pipeline has yet to be approved by the federal government and property owners are left wondering how eminent domain can be exercised without actual approval.
"Eminent domain laws generally allow for the confiscation of private property if taking it is judged to serve a larger public good. These kinds of laws differ slightly from state to state as do the processes by which pipelines are approved and licensed. As a result, there is both debate and confusion over whether TransCanada has the right to use the courts to demand easements from property owners in advance of final approval for the project."
Thanks to Cathie Pagano