Editorials

Gas Pipeline: Like it or not, it's probably coming 2014.09.04

We feel a little duped by the PT Rover Pipeline spokesperson. We were told last week that survey crews only enter property when permission is granted, and that’s what we reported in an article.

The next day we learned from a property owner that it doesn’t work quite like that. He should know; surveyors entered his property without his permission.

When questioned further, PT Rover gave the full explanation. The company first attempts to gain permission from the property owner. When that fails, they simply turn to a state law that they claim grants them access to property.

Thanks, Rover, for such up-front public relations with a newspaper attempting to explain your presence in the area.

The Michigan law probably comes as a surprise to most property owners who may be learning for the first time the fine print attached to their ownership. From the moment your name is signed on the purchase agreement, the rights to your new property aren’t entirely yours.

Many local property owners in the path of the proposed 42-inch natural gas pipeline have given permission for surveying. Some property owners are in line to make a lot of money through an easement agreement, but some of those aren’t all that pleased with the prospect of pipeline construction tearing up their fields. For them, it’s a matter of resignation knowing they’re going to be overrun anyway. If federal approval is given, the pipeline will be built no matter how many people complain.

To be honest, a law such as this is probably essential or many utility and infrastructure projects would never be completed. There would always be someone standing in the way.

Some critics claim this pipeline is not at all essential, that existing lines can fill the need, but it’s quite likely that a high-pressure natural gas pipeline will soon be in our neighborhood—less than half a mile from town.