Affected landowners who join the Nebraska Easement Action Team (NEAT) become part of a united front in information-gathering and sharing to keep all educated and up to date on pipeline developer TransCanada’s moves and tactics, as well as potentially negotiating collectively across the table from TransCanada if TransCanada contacts or approaches you wanting to obtain an easement on your land for its pipeline project.
NEAT is primarily focused on gathering and providing information in relation to easement term negotiating with TransCanada. In the beginning, NEAT acts as a ‘buffer’ between NEAT Landowners and TransCanada. Negotiations will not begin until all appeals are concluded, and TransCanada is cleared to commence construction, or sooner, if deemed strategically necessary. NEAT’s goal is to obtain the strongest and most protective easement terms possible for all NEAT landowners and provide increased peace of mind.
In Pennsylvania alone, nearly forty landowner groups have formed to gain collective bargaining power in negotiations with industry representatives, representing well over 500,000 acres. These landowner coalitions vary greatly in size, scope, and structure, ranging from small groups of community members, to large organized coalitions that cover multiple counties and even cross state borders. Together, landowner groups have played an instrumental role in unconventional shale gas leasing and development. However, there are both advantages and disadvantages to consider when deciding whether to join a landowner coalition. Based on the findings of a research project supported by the USDA’s Northeast branch of SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education), this publication will provide an overview of the types of landowner coalitions, a typical landowner coalition timeline from conception to leasing, advantages and disadvantages of joining a landowner coalition, and finally possible future applications of the landowner coalition model.