A new bill sponsored by Republican Representative Mike Noel would allow for eminent domain actions to be brought against a landowner to build roads that are needed for the development, production or exploration of oil or natural gas.
Noel told KCPW the legislation is a “no-brainer,” noting that eminent domain can already be used for gas, oil and coal pipelines. He credits SITLA, Utah’s School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, for writing the bill.
Democratic Representative Brian King says while there is good that comes from oil and gas exploration, the government cannot overstep its bounds by encroaching on people’s property rights.
The House Judiciary Committee will finish receiving public comment on the bill at its next meeting before taking a final vote.