Plains and Eastern Clean Line
The Plains & Eastern Clean Line is a 700-mile overhead high-voltage direct current transmission (HVDC) line that will originate in the Oklahoma Panhandle, span the length of Oklahoma and Arkansas, and terminate outside of Memphis, Tennessee.
The Plains & Eastern Clean Line is designed to connect thousands of megawatts of wind energy generated in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas and connect it with utilities in Tennessee and Arkansas to meet the demand for additional electric transmission. The project is to be complete in two 3,500 megawatt phases, with the first phase currently underway.
This picture illustrates the size of the transmission line poles as you can see our client standing next to the pole if you look closely.
In order to build the transmission line, Clean Line Energy Partners will need to obtain contracts from Landowners or sue them in order to run the lines. If you are one of these Landowners, there are many things you MUST know in order to protect yourself. Here are a few thoughts:
You may be asked if your property can be inspected and you may be asked to sign a Route Inspection Authorization form. It is important that you do not sign this form or anything else you might be presented. Generally, Operators have the right to come onto and inspect certain properties and they don’t need something signed to do so. So why do Operators ask you to sign something? ANSWER: To protect them. They know if they do something wrong, they will be liable for damages. These forms are only designed to protect them from their own potential liability with no benefit to you.
If Clean Line Energy Partners decides to use your property, they will need to obtain a contract or file an eminent domain petition against you. Again, it is important that you do not sign any contract they present to you as you might be giving them more rights than they are entitled to and you may not be receiving the proper compensation or you may be giving up things they do not have a right to take under existing law, but they take them via a contract. Once the contract is signed, there is little, if anything, that can be done to help. At LandownerFirm, we are experienced in negotiating these types of easements and often we can help you obtain not only better compensation, but can secure a contract with terms that protect your rights as a Landowner.
If you wish to negotiate your own easement, please consider the following:
- Focus on the terms of the easement and not the money – make sure the terms are clearly defined and not overly broad
- Never grant a permanent, irrevocable easement
- Always specify the size of the area included in the easement
- Limit the number of poles on the property
- Limit the number of lines on poles
- Ask for additional damages for re-entering the property
- REMEMBER: Nothing in writing is better than something bad in writing!
- Contact Us and request that our Free LandownerFirm.com Top Considerations be mailed to you at no cost
If an agreement regarding an easement cannot be reached, it is likely that Clean Line Energy Partners will initiate a condemnation proceeding.
Will Plains & Eastern Clean Have the Right of Eminent Domain?
In October of 2011, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission approved Plains & Eastern Clean Line’s application to conduct business as a public utility in the State of Oklahoma. In Oklahoma, pursuant to Title 28 O.S. § 277, public utilities are vested with right of eminent domain. Technically, you can still challenge this ruling in the District Court where you live, but generally these are costly battles.
At LandownerFirm, we have protected millions of acres for Landowners, recovered numerous multi-million dollar results for Landowners, negotiated over 1,200 natural resource matters since opening our firm, and have prepared thousands of cases for trial. Consider letting our experience in these types of matters help you. If you are interested in having us travel to your location for a free seminar, do not hesitate to contact us – do it now. We enjoy and are devoted to helping Landowners and that is what our firm is devoted to. We are experienced in condemnation proceedings and can help you through the process. If you would like more information on condemnation proceedings, please visit our Eminent Domain page.
If you have been contacted by Clean Line Energy Partners regarding negotiations, get help as early on in the process as possible. Many people think waiting will save them money – this generally is not the case. If you would like help negotiating the terms of an easement, you have questions, or need help with this project or any Landowner related matter, consider filling out our Contact Us form for a free evaluation of your situation.