HELENA — The battle over eminent domain remains mired down in a dispute between landowners and industry groups.
Industry interests led by those building electrical transmission lines are seeking a bill currently languishing in a Senate committee that would clarify that their projects have the authority to condemn private land. They argue a court order last year threatens to scuttle the Montana Alberta Tie Line.
Property owners led by ranchers are suspicious of that bill and are seeking one that would give landowners more power in eminent domain negotiations. It is opposed by the utilities and companies like TransCanada, which is trying to build an oil pipeline through the state.
Landowners recrafted their bill and brought it to a new House committee Wednesday as they try to get support for their plan.