In Texas, perhaps the reddest of all states, we like to talk a lot about the sanctity of property rights. This is a favorite of all our politicians because it is a safe hot-button issue guaranteed to arouse applause and votes. But, our reality is far different.
Texas has more miles of pipelines than any other state by a wide margin. One would think that in a state such as ours we would have developed a comprehensive set of rules, regulations, and laws that protect landowners from abuse. This is not so.
The Texas Railroad Commission regulates pipelines in Texas. Their regulations:
1) Do not require a permit to build an intrastate pipeline;
2) Do not require public hearings, public comment, or environmental studies;
3) Do not allow for challenge of the routing of a pipeline;
4) Do not require proof of or allow debate concerning the public interest or public good.
In short, if a pipeline company wants to come across your property, you are thrown to the wolves.
It is high time the politicians actually did something to protect landowners from the abuses of pipeline companies.