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Published November 04, 2011, 02:32 PM

Plea sways ND lawmakers to study eminent domain

BISMARCK, N.D. — A Cogswell farmer talked North Dakota lawmakers into reviving a study of state policy on taking private property to build pipelines.

BISMARCK, N.D. — A Cogswell farmer talked North Dakota lawmakers into reviving a study of state policy on taking private property to build pipelines.

Paul Mathews says he was poorly treated by representatives of the Keystone oil pipeline when they wanted to build the line through eastern North Dakota.

Mathews says land agents told him they would condemn his property and force him to accept their access terms on his land.

Earlier, the Legislature approved a study of the state's eminent domain laws and how they affect pipeline construction. But the idea was dropped.

Mathews asked the Legislative Management committee on Thursday to order the study. The panel voted to do that. It's been assigned to the Legislature's committee on energy issues.

House Democratic leader Jerry Kelsh says he's happy with the move.

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