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house Bill H.R. 7178

Should Gov’t Compensate Private Landowners When it Devalues Their Property?

Argument in favor

Private landowners deserve to be properly compensated for lost land value if the government makes decisions that decrease their land’s value. This is especially consequential in economically depressed areas where banning fracking eliminates landowners’ abilities to gain any economic value from oil reserves on their lands.

thegrizzled1's Opinion
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12/17/2018
Anytime that the government makes a move upon a private land owner which negatively impacts the value of an individuals land of course they should be compensated. For God’s sake once again I find that we, “Average Joe” America have to be the common sense ones to comment/respond to these idiotically written proposals. Of course you compensate those you bludgeon over the head with your patriotic eminent domain club.
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Chickie's Opinion
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12/17/2018
This question has a large shadow in the mind of ‘should taxpayers pay for #45’s Wall’, How should the government pay restitution to landowners on the border. Throughout our history, our government has claimed private domain when taking land from landowners in the name progress. Yes, landowners should be fairly compensated. Hell NO!, should the government use private landowners land for The Wall.
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Kari's Opinion
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12/17/2018
This is literally in the Bill of Rights, guys.
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Argument opposed

The government is perfectly within its rights to limit or disallow certain types of uses of land, as is the case with zoning laws or bans on certain environmentally harmful activities, such as fracking, and shouldn’t be expected to compensate landowners for economic losses in these cases.

Robert's Opinion
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12/17/2018
Upon reading the bill, it appears to favor oil companies and fracking. There is a 6 year statue of limitation on law suits. Fracking can affect ones water wells and if one sues for action before the 6 year limits, they would be liable for legal expenses of the other property. This sounds like a wolf in sheep’s clothing to protect the oil and coal companies.
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Linda's Opinion
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12/17/2018
I am in favor of banning eminent domain. But when I read this, it seems to be punitive to states that ban fracking. Another boon for the gas and oil vompanies
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Alex's Opinion
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12/17/2018
Colorado just tried this. Oregon tried it too and it bankrupted a few places and they had to remove it. The fact is it’s in place to let oil and fracking companies shove their way into communities by saying the add value to land. The thing is even without that, it opens the door to have people sue the cities and governments unendingly in the perceived notion of a violation. It will bog courts down from doing actual work, bankrupt smaller cities and communities, and drive away tax revenue from programs that need funding. It’s bad. Colorado shot it down and Oregon did and it was almost the exact same language.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
    IntroducedNovember 27th, 2018

What is House Bill H.R. 7178?

This bill — the Defense of Property Rights Act — would give private landowners a right to compensation when federal government or a state takes an action that adversely affect their property’s value. It’d also prohibit the government from taking private property for public use without compensation, curtailing the use of eminent domain. Further, it would require the government to compensate landowners for lost income due to bans on leasing land to drilling companies for energy development, such as hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”).

Additionally, this bill would streamline the federal court adjudication process for land use disputes, establish a six-year statute of limitations, and create an arbitration system as an alternative to court action. It’d also award attorney fees to the prevailing party to discourage frivolous suits.

Impact

Private landowners; federal government compensation to landowners; and land use disputes.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 7178

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Tom Reed (R-NY) introduced this bill in response to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision to ban fracking in New York state. He designed this bill to protect landowners by creating a safeguard against “unfair and unreasonable government actions that violate their property rights and adversely affect their property’s value, including fracking bans:

“The Defense of Property Rights Act would provide an opportunity for citizens to seek compensation when government action significantly impairs the value of their property. This would promote accountability and responsible policymaking by forcing the government to provide compensation to affected property owners as a result of infringing on their constitutionally protected property rights. Today, those individuals are not eligible for relief because the government did not render their property entirely ‘value-less.’ The proposed legislation also addresses the issue of jurisdiction by streamlining the federal court process and providing concurrent federal and state review. This helps return fundamental fairness to the system and provides a means for aggrieved property owners to pursue such action in a court of the citizen’s choosing, not the government’s. Currently, through the use of conflicting and limiting standing requirements and jurisdictional ambiguity, many property owners are left in state courts where the burden is on them to prove not only harm, but a ‘total loss of use’ of their property as a whole. This injustice severely limits their opportunities for a remedy and is by its nature fundamentally un-American.”

Rep. Reed adds that federal overreach is also preventing industries from developing their properties, saying, “I can see it on the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) level. I can see it at various agencies on the federal level that are encroaching on property rights every day.”

The Rochester City Newspaper’s Jeremy Moule points out that governments are will within their rights to govern land use:

“[T]he idea that the state's fracking ban is somehow equal to taking private property for public use feels like a leap. Governments have legally placed restrictions on land use for a long time; it's called zoning. Those restrictions keep porn shops away from schools and protect farmers' livelihood when residential development sprawls out to their borders. And historically, governments have been able to regulate and prohibit activities on private land if they're found to be in conflict with the public good.”

There are three cosponsors of this bill, all of whom are Republicans. Rep. Reed previously introduced this bill in the 114th Congress, where it never made it out of committee.


Of NoteIn Rep. Reed’s home state of New York, there are “billions of dollars of natural gas trapped underneath the most economically depressed areas of upstate New York.” By New York state’s estimates, the state’s fracking ban cost at least 25,000 jobs in the state’s Southern Tier alone.

In 2011, the Manhattan Institute estimated that allowing fracking in New York State could drive commercial activity in the state “for decades, leading to long-term increases in personal income and tax revenue.” The Manhattan Institute estimated that fracking would mean:

  • $11.4 billion in economic output and $1.4 billion in tax revenues;

  • $4 million in economic benefits from each well but only $14,000 in economic damages from environmental impacts;

  • 15,000 to 18,000 jobs in the Southern Tier and Western New York; and

  • An additional 75,000 to 90,000 jobs if the area of exploration and drilling were expanded to include the Utica Shale and southeastern New York, including the New York City watershed.

Town of Windsor administrator Caroline Price, articulating many locals’ resentment over the fracking ban, said, “[t]he governor has taken the landowner’s mineral rights and robbed the Southern Tier residents of economic freedom.”


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Nancy Haggarty)

AKA

Defense of Property Rights Act

Official Title

To establish a uniform and more efficient Federal process for protecting property owners' rights guaranteed by the fifth amendment.

    Anytime that the government makes a move upon a private land owner which negatively impacts the value of an individuals land of course they should be compensated. For God’s sake once again I find that we, “Average Joe” America have to be the common sense ones to comment/respond to these idiotically written proposals. Of course you compensate those you bludgeon over the head with your patriotic eminent domain club.
    Like (94)
    Follow
    Share
    Upon reading the bill, it appears to favor oil companies and fracking. There is a 6 year statue of limitation on law suits. Fracking can affect ones water wells and if one sues for action before the 6 year limits, they would be liable for legal expenses of the other property. This sounds like a wolf in sheep’s clothing to protect the oil and coal companies.
    Like (109)
    Follow
    Share
    I am in favor of banning eminent domain. But when I read this, it seems to be punitive to states that ban fracking. Another boon for the gas and oil vompanies
    Like (37)
    Follow
    Share
    This question has a large shadow in the mind of ‘should taxpayers pay for #45’s Wall’, How should the government pay restitution to landowners on the border. Throughout our history, our government has claimed private domain when taking land from landowners in the name progress. Yes, landowners should be fairly compensated. Hell NO!, should the government use private landowners land for The Wall.
    Like (32)
    Follow
    Share
    Colorado just tried this. Oregon tried it too and it bankrupted a few places and they had to remove it. The fact is it’s in place to let oil and fracking companies shove their way into communities by saying the add value to land. The thing is even without that, it opens the door to have people sue the cities and governments unendingly in the perceived notion of a violation. It will bog courts down from doing actual work, bankrupt smaller cities and communities, and drive away tax revenue from programs that need funding. It’s bad. Colorado shot it down and Oregon did and it was almost the exact same language.
    Like (31)
    Follow
    Share
    “Or a State” <— no, from federal, sure, but not from state. If passed “as is”, this law is a violation of state rights as it decimates their ability to make functional zoning laws. Cannot support a unconstitutional bill.
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    This is literally in the Bill of Rights, guys.
    Like (18)
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    H.R. 7178 AKA the Defense of Property Rights Act I’m in support and recommend passage of HOUSE bill H.R. 7178 AKA the Defense of Property Rights Act — would give private landowners a right to compensation when federal government or a state takes an action that adversely affect their property’s value. It’d also prohibit the government from taking private property for public use without compensation, curtailing the use of eminent domain. Further, it would require the government to compensate landowners for lost income due to bans on leasing land to drilling companies for energy development, such as hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). SneakyPete..... 🤔👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻. 12*17*18.....
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    Compensate fracking companies because a state has determined that they don’t want their environmentally harmful activities? What a stupid bill. Fossil fuel companies don’t have a right to do business in any state. If New York or any other state says no, too bad for those companies!
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    Please vote no on this sneaky attempt to promote fracking.
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    Just because someone could make a buck while destroying our planet doesn’t mean they should be able to. Some things are more important than money, and an inhabitable planet is one of them. Find another way to make a buck, like a solar or wind farm. There are lots of options if you take the time to think about it. Don’t ask the government to pay you just because you’re too lazy to think of a way to make a living that doesn’t destroy the planet.
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    Absolutely
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    If the intent is to now subsidize the fracking companies, then I say go to hell. I am so sick of subsidizing wealthy corporations and individuals. We, as citizens, have been so complacent for such a long time now that we did not see how often our TRUSTED elected officials, little by little, were screwing us over. Well, they FINALLY got so greedy and, consequently, brazen about it, we couldn’t ignore it any longer. So let’s get a list of whom we subsidize, why, and for how much. We cannot make decisions on what we do not know. I want information and lots of it! Then, we make decisions!
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    I see this is in response to banning fracking in New York - this is not to help people - it is heavily weighted to oil companies. Go figure - it was introduced by. Republican to benefit his buddies - disguised as a sheep. Shame !
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    No. The companies that do the damage are to be held accountable, not the American people. Corporations are taking the money and the American people are stuck with the cleanup and lose! Corporate America screw up private and public property and leave it to super funds to cleanup and bale out their ass!
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    Fracking should be Banned period! The environmental impacts have so far been negative to the environment. Cracked oil is sent to China, the USA can sell them alternative energy technology!
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    This is simply a smoke and mirrors legislation that seeks to protect the oil and gas industry from being sued over pollution caused by their actions. The 6 year indemnification clause is a case in point. I ask that my legislators start protecting citizens and stop protecting big business and polluters... our grandchildren will suffer the consequences of pollution
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    This is another Repugnacant attempt to circumvent environmental laws.
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    Property owners should not lose value because of government actions. If the government acts to devalue land, the property owners should be compensated for their loss.
    Like (5)
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    The government is perfectly within its rights to limit or disallow certain types of uses of land, as is the case with zoning laws or bans on certain environmentally harmful activities, such as fracking, and shouldn’t be expected to compensate landowners for economic losses in these cases.
    Like (5)
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