Majority of LFDA Members say “No” to Eminent Domain - 287 Responses

Jan 06, 2015

With Kinder Morgan, the largest energy infrastructure company in North America, planning a gas pipeline route through southern New Hampshire, some landowners are concerned about the company taking their land. In response, Rep. Jim Belanger (R-Hollis) is sponsoring two bills to counter eminent domain, which is a move supported by an overwhelming majority of Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) Facebook members.

In response to the question posed by the LFDA, “Should natural gas pipeline developers be able to take private property using eminent domain?” 87 percent of individuals who answered the question responded negatively. Thirteen percent of those who answered the question expressed support for eminent domain, while 24 percent of all respondents discussed the subject in broader terms. In total, the LFDA received 287 citizen responses, including specific comments from 171 individuals supported by 110 concurrences.

Representing the majority opinion, many respondents argued eminent domain is simply wrong. Remarked one respondent, “Nobody and no corporation should have the right to take anyone's property for any reason.” One gentleman added, “Eminent domain, like sovereign immunity, is a left-over from the divine right of kings where the king owned everything and everyone and people were merely tenants.”

Those who expressed support for the use of eminent domain countered that projects, such as the pipeline, serve a greater public good, as they provide energy and lower gas prices. “People complain about high electric rates but don't understand that power plants are powered mostly by natural gas—not to mention natural gas is much cleaner cheaper and from our own country,” said one respondent. “People need to lose the not my back yard syndrome and welcome the way of our future.”

For many who did not directly answer the question, however, the issue was not whether eminent domain is right or wrong, but rather who determines what constitutes “a fair price.” “Who is the one considering it a fair price,” rhetorically noted one respondent. “The land owner or Kinder?”

Click here to see the full Facebook discussion of this question.

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