There is this thing called "eminent domain" that most landowners will only talk about after sprinkling themselves with holy water and praying for ten minutes. It's the right of the government to take your land for projects 'benefiting the greater good' such as widening roads or improving utilities. In the case of my family farm, it's involved selling ever-widening easements across our property to the natural gas utility.
Now, with the onset of fracking (hydraulic fracturing), the industry is at it again. I've written about my farm before; I've also written somewhat angrily about the bartering away of Hopkins' family's ancestral land in support of his father's vanity. Their farm was very nearly as old as mine...and here in the sunny South, that is some serious business, threatening someone's ancestral seat. We view it askance.
Sure as anything, our buddies over at the gas utility want to run a 24 inch pipeline all the way across the state, parallel in my mother's home county to the existing lines. What does that mean? The Gas Men will come waving wads of cash under our noses and quoting their favorite veiled threat, yes, you guessed it: eminent domain. What that means is "Sell it to us (un)willingly or we will take it for pennies on the dollar, with the help and blessing of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the United by God States of America".
Can you tell I'm a little worked up about this? Do I really need to go out to the middle of the family farm armed with a rifle, to scream at these bespoke-suited landsharks, "GIT OFF MAH LAND!"?
I don't know, but I can tell you this: I don't want their 24 inch pipeline across our property, because 24 inches translates into another hundred-yard-wide berth slashing across largely unblemished arable land. I don't know what I'm going to do with that farm when it becomes mine, but I also know that I don't want to keep letting the gas companies carve it up to their benefit, either.
Now, GIT OFF MAH LAND!