Only by working together with your neighbours can you, the landowner, protect your investment in your home and business, family legacy, and quality of life. Nobody else will do it for you.
The Canadian Energy Regulator regularly set tolls for pipeline companies guaranteeing shareholders a return on investment. What have you been guaranteed? Only restrictions, costs and liabilities.
Pipeline companies and their land agents come to your door armed with government rules and regulations allowing them to take your property and compromise your right to negotiate an ironclad contract that protects you and your property.
Whether you like it or not, you are now “pipeline farming,” and you should treat this side of your farm business the same as you would your ranch and cropland.
This is your “pipeland,” and you want to harvest a profitable crop while at the same time protecting your other operations and leaving an asset, not a liability, to future generations.
What can you accomplish by cooperating with your neighbours and working with CAEPLA to protect your property rights?
We, together with grassroots groups of landowners just like you across the country, have negotiated precedent setting contracts and compensation… the first of their kind in the 60 years since the National Energy Board (now the CER) legislation was created to allow private pipeline companies to take your land.
A few things we gained previously:
By working together you level the playing field to negotiate a business agreement.
Pipeline companies use their ally, the government, to expropriate your land which denies you your right to just say No to even the poorest offer from a pipeline company. That is no way to negotiate a contract.
Nobody wants to see you robbed of your land. Expropriation is a last resort, but it is one pipeline companies will turn to the CER for if they can’t fool you with a lowball offer or bluff you into a bad deal.
But if landowners like you stand your ground, with your neighbours, expropriation becomes very risky business — a surefire public relations disaster for the companies, the regulator, and the government itself.
We will continue to build on the success of our previous agreements including addressing language used to describe payments.
Abandonment / Decommissioning is an even more challenging issue and if landowners do not come together, your property will no longer be an investment but will be nothing but a safety and environmental liability, much like an old gas station lot. The companies now have the right to leave the majority (80%) of pipelines in place leaving their collapse and historical contamination for you to clean up or live with.
Pipeline companies have pipelines as assets on their Financial Balance Sheet, assets making them daily profits. Meanwhile, pipelines are a liability on your Financial Balance Sheet with no offsetting profits, only business costs. By sticking together, you and your neighbours can negotiate to have these costs, risks, and liabilities reallocated where they belong — with the pipeline company.
We also need an integrity dig agreement (pipeline repair agreement). As pipelines age we need an agreement that spells out exactly how much land will be needed, what will be paid for damages, wet soil shutdown or compensation, how long the company will be on our land and penalties for compromising covenants in any such agreement. TC Energy, Enbridge and other pipeline companies are doing thousands of integrity digs on their pipeline corridors.
As always CAEPLA’s experienced team of negotiators and lawyers will be beside you. There is no other organization in North America with expertise and experience comparable to CAEPLA’s.
➣ Are you a conscientious property owner who recognizes the responsibility you have to preserve your capital investment as well as your family’s legacy and quality of life?
➣ Do you want to maintain the operational efficiency and integrity of your business operation?
➣ Do you believe your property rights give you the right to say “No Thanks” to a bad deal – just as any other business owner can?
➣ Do you agree that expropriation is simply wealth redistribution, a transfer of wealth from owners of farms and ranches to owners of shares in pipeline companies?
➣ Are you concerned for neighbours who, while they may not get pipe on their land, will experience loss of property values as the value of farmland with pipe goes down?
➣ Do you believe pipeline companies should be required to pay market rents like any other business does?
➣ Do you agree that working with your neighbours is the best way to protect your own and everybody’s property values?
➣ Are you interested in participating fully in the oil and energy transport boom?
➣ Do you believe experience matters when it comes to leveling the playing field and negotiating ‘win-win’ business agreements with the pipeline industry?
➣ Are you the type of person who understands you can do well by doing right – that you can protect the profitability of your farm by protecting your principles?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, CAEPLA is the place for you and your neighbours.
Of course, the choice is yours.
You can accept a ‘lowest common denominator’ deal from the next land agent to knock on your door.
True, you can choose to sit on the sidelines and still get the same money as those who do work together to get a better agreement. But without you, everybody will then get less — including you.
Fortunately there is another way. You can choose to do the right — and profitable — thing for your home, your family, your business, and your neighbours. You can work with your neighbours and put CAEPLA to work for you.
There is some farm land just outside Hardisty, Alberta, where the major pipelines begin their journeys crisscrossing the continent. A nearby tank farm (oil storage facility) was looking to expand.
That farmland needed by the oil storage company wound up fetching $3.5 million. Identical land surrounding that facility, with one or more pipeline easements running through it, only got a tiny fraction of that price for a pipeline easement.
Why? The owner of the land the tank farm needed was free to negotiate a market price for the sale of his property. The owners of the land with pipe on it were picked off one by one by pipeline companies who enjoy the privilege of having government expropriate owners of the land they need. A company operating a tank farm cannot take your land by expropriation.
A pipeline company, even with the power of expropriation, will have a much harder time taking your land if you work together.
Don’t let the CER transfer your property rights to pipeline company shareholders.
Working together with your neighbours, CAEPLA can work with you to win the best price possible for the use of your property, with terms and conditions you can live with.