“In order for renewable energy projects to gain traction on a larger scale in the United States, significant investments need to go into building the required underlying infrastructure, including a green sustainable grid across the country.
Eminent domain, the government’s right to expropriate private property for public use with just compensation, has historically been the go-to tool for the fossil fuel industry to build and expand its vast network of pipelines by obtaining the parcels of land needed to build the pipeline. Eminent domain is a controversial concept and has been a popular target for environmentalists looking to slow the expansion of the fossil fuel pipelines. Recent examples include the PennEast Pipeline, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline.
This legal concept, however, might soon become an asset for those same climate activists looking to push renewable-friendly policies. In order to achieve the ambitious goals the Biden administration recently announced, infrastructure will need to be built to transport renewable energy from where it is produced to where it is needed. Unlike oil and gas, electricity can only be transmitted through electric transmission lines, thus the need to build interstate power lines on a national scale.”
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Khoukaz, George and Husch Blackwell. JDSupra 14 May 2021.