Rover Pipeline Creates Consternation in Michigan

A recent article about the Rover Pipeline in Livingston County raises all sorts of interesting issues.

First, a state senator implies that one can simply get agents in line and “pull them in and slap them.” Who is he kidding? Agents do what they can to acquire their property at simply the lowest price.

Second, is an implication in the article that owners have to sell their property. Realistically, the owners can face an eminent domain by simply objecting to the offer and waiting for a filing. First, of course, the owner has to obtain FERC approval.

Finally, the article accurately describes Rover’s multiple offer, multiple and variable easements and the havoc that is created by the offering process utilized by the proposed, butnot yet approved eminent domain action.

A number of out-of-state law firms have been soliciting eminent domain work in the community. While one recognizes a discontent with representation by non-local lawyers, one hopes that the lawyers do a capable job in representation of the owners.

Sen. Joe Hune said after the meeting that the pipeline should be “done safely and done in accordance with being a responsible neighbor.”

“There was a lot of concern and questions from folks who have been dealing with the land agents of the pipeline company. So, that is something we can definitely, hopefully, have an impact on. Make sure that the land agents are doing things on the up and up and not playing one neighbor off of another,” Sen. Hune said.

If land agents step out of line, the solution is to “pull them in and slap them in line,” he said.

“An overall decision of this pipeline lays (in the hands of) the federal government. The local community doesn’t have a tremendous amount of clout in the process and the state legislators have almost no clout outside of our voices,” he said.