Gas Storage Sites are Battled over, as Dominion Wages Lawsuits against Property Owners
Dominion Transmission, who have been waging a decade- long battle against several property owners in the Houston area, have finally took legal action against the nine land owners who have continually declined the company’s increasingly generous offers to sell the exploration rights of their estates.
The property owners are scattered across five different states; Ohio, Texas, West Virginia, Alabama and Louisiana. They have total ownership of more than 136 acres of land that hold considerable amounts of natural gas reserves. These reserves and their access have been the main point of debate and negotiations between the company and the people.
Dominion representatives have publicly stated that though they regret having to take hostile action against the owners, the fact that it has forged bountiful and mutually- respectful contracts with 99% of the rest of the land holders and the sheer length of time that the negotiations have spanned have been cause for much frustration for the ambitious firm.
The company’s people have also added that the fact that the reservoir lies beneath the lands of the defendants does not automatically grant them full rights over the use of the land. Dominion has long since been known to explore and use abandoned WWII natural gas and oil reservoirs around the nation, the number of which has been recorded to amount to more than 300 locations, according to 2007 research results.
100% of the surface land owners and leasers have acceded to Dominion’s offers. The owners of partial reserve rights have also been largely compliant with the financial compensation the firm has offered them. However, the company’s representatives have refused to disclose the exact amounts that they provided them with.
The remaining holdouts have expressed concerns over the potential hazards of the exploration that Dominion would undertake in the region. Suspicions have been raised that the firm might use the right they will gain to explore the territory even further, thereby ravaging the region’s lands, as well as endangering its people and fauna and flora.
One of the owners specifically stated that the land Dominion has been so ardent about with their bids has been passed down through her family’s generations for many years, and that the seemingly purely financial gain that the company seems to carry is more than troubling for her. She added that the sentimental value that the land holds for her is easily much more precious to her than the lucrative sum that Dominion placed on the table.