U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner (D-V) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) introduced legislation on
August 6 to strengthen the public’s ability to evaluate the impacts of natural gas pipelines being
considered by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. S. 4502 would make it easier for the
public to offer input and clarify the circumstances under which eminent domain should and
should not be used.
Among other guidelines, the bill requires public comment meetings to be held in every
locality through which a pipeline would pass, at every stage of the review process, in order to
minimize situations where individuals are forced to commute long distances with very little time
to comment. It also strengthens landowners’ rights by improving the processes in which
landowners are notified of a pipeline application and bolstering their ability to intervene to
ensure any concerns about their property are given fair consideration and compensation.
The bill builds upon an earlier version of legislation the Senators introduced in the last
Congress. The text of S. 4502 is not yet available. For more, click here.