What happens to your property values or homeowners insurance a pipeline company takes your land to gouge a path for its fracked methane or oil? It affects the property values not just of your land, but of your neighbors’, and yours and their property insurance. It also opens the pipeline company and associated businesses to civil lawsuits. And FERC’s assertion that federal law supersedes state and local laws for eminent domain does nothing to stop such lawsuits; many such lawsuits are winning lately. Not even the federal government is immune from pipeline lawsuits.
Stop the Pipeline has a good article, mostly about land near fracking wells: LOSS OF PROPERTY VALUES, DIFFICULTY GETTING MORTGAGES AND HOME INSURANCE,
“Another illustration is the gentleman who has had 63 acres for sale now for several years. He purchased the property as an investment, and now has three pipelines and an above ground valve. He can not give this property away. As he reaches retirement age his retirement has been stolen from him. This is no different than Enron or any other scandal, only it has been made legal thievery. There are two other pieces of property that have been for sale for several years, one of which is a large parcel of about 70 acres and the other is about 10 acres.”
The insurance industry has been studying this issue for years, and wants to steer clear of it. In No fracking insurance: how long until no pipeline insurance? I quoted a a white paper that says:
Claims may also result from the pipelines required to transport gas extracted from the fracked wells. Pipeline leaks and other conceivable failures may affect local air, water and soil, damage property, sicken and/or kill livestock and cause bodily injury. The likelihood of such claims will increase as more wells are drilled and demand for pipeline and transportation infrastructure continues to expand.
These claims are particularly likely to arise given a number of recent high-profile incidents involving defective pipelines that caused property damage, significant injury and death. Although none of these incidents involved pipelines used in fracking operations, the media have focused attention upon the harm that may arise from their defects. Media reports have not only addressed the potential risk of such defects, but have also emphasized the lack of meaningful regulations with regard to many pipelines used in fracking activities, including pipelines used in the Marcellus Shale. In light of this media coverage, any accident involving the failure of pipelines used in fracking is likely to be followed by an onslaught of lawsuits filed on behalf of allegedly injured parties.