We represent some of the affected landowners [in the condemnations brought by Trans-Pecos Pipeline], and you are right — they are being railroaded. Unfortunately, under Texas law the condemnation process does not allow any determination other than monetary compensation. In other words, once they file for condemnation, issues like where to put the line, how they enter your property, fences, gates, accommodating the current agricultural or other uses, are all out the window. The special commissioners have no power to dictate that; they can only make an award of money. If you want to negotiate for these surface operational issues, it has to be outside condemnation. For many landowners the surface issues are just as, if not more, important than the money.
Keep up the good work of covering this.
Joseph Fitzsimmons, San Antonio