Pipeline causing headaches for Grayson Co. residents

By: Daniel Gotera Email
By: Daniel Gotera Email

GRAYSON COUNTY, Tex. -- A new natural gas pipeline through southwest Grayson County is giving residents headaches. Now they want something done at the state level in order for others to avoid going through what they are experiencing.

Energy Transfer Partners is in the process of building a 36-inch pipeline through southwest Grayson and northern Collin counties. The only problem is the pipeline is cutting through homes and property, and other than future legislation, there is nothing residents can do but watch the bulldozers work.

George Woodroof and his wife Barbara own 475 acres of land just east of Gunter.

"We fought it all the way through and then got to the point when we realized reality was here and it was going to happen." homeowner George Woodroof says.

What used to be rolling hills with large oak trees is now a dirt path, which they say took only one week to make.

"Here we are 290 feet from our bedroom window is a 36-inch high pressure gas line."

The Woodroofs, along with other families in southwest Grayson County, were approached back in October of 2006 about a natural gas line designed to transport gas from the Barnett Shale in West Texas out east, but that’s not what bothers them or county leaders. It’s the ability to place a pipeline anywhere they want through eminent domain, which is the problem.

"They don’t have to notify us when they come into the county. Next thing we know, there are a bunch of stakes out there saying certain pipeline is going in. I don’t think that’s very neighborly and I think that shows a lot of arrogance on the part of the energy companies," Mr. Woodruff says.

Grayson County Judge Drue Bynum and Precinct One Commissioner Johnny Waldrip toured the Woodroof property on Wednesday, which crews have finished leveling in order to cut a trench and insert the pipeline.

Woodroof says it could have been somewhere else, but negotiations with the pipeline fell through, and it’s those talks that, according to Drue Bynum, don’t even happen.

"Being a good neighbor, I would like to see some of these pipeline companies actually sit down with county leaders and sit down to try and figure this out the most expeditious way possible."

Texas Law currently states that energy companies can acquire any land they want, even without the owner’s consent.

That is what Woodroof says has to change.

"To require these guys to do certain things before they objectively say, ‘We'll go from point a to point b and if you're in the middle, then too bad.’"

Woodroof says the company has until June 30th to finish the pipeline on his property. One of the concerns the family has is that a manually operated control switch is just eight miles away.

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  • by Jess on Jan 28, 2008 at 09:40 AM
    JT, no one said they didn't need gas. All we're saying is that there needs to be some sort of law prohibiting contractors to just come to anyone/everyone's property and start tearing and building anything they want. Very intelligent post by the way.
  • by marie Location: madill on Jan 25, 2008 at 09:48 PM
    to terri in madill, get a life, i am so tired of paying high taxes just to live here. what does this town have to offer. nothing. maybe highway 70 will come thru and bulldoze the whole town in then some of these people will see how this man in texas feels. he worked his who life for this land and now some big shots come in a destroy it. madill is a laughing stock of oklahoma as it is. it is just one big junk pile so a clean highway thru it would do a great deal of improvement. as to the man in texas i wish you and your family the best of luck and god bless you. maybe someday a big company will come thru those peoples livingrooms while their sitting there, maybe they won't even knock. god bless you.
  • by Landowner Location: Van Alstyne on Jan 25, 2008 at 02:20 PM
    Yes, Anonymous Sherman, this really is true. If you do not consent to let them come onto your property, they get a court order. As Mr. Woodruff said, they are very arrogant and "matter of fact" about being able to do as they please, with no regard for the landowner. Negotiations with them do not exist. They tell the landowner what they will pay and if you don't like that, tough. There was a bill before our current Governor Rick Perry that would have addressed this situation, last summer, but he vetoed it. I hope everyone remembers this when he seeks office again. But now, all citizens need to be contacting our state representatives and senators (Larry Phillips & Craig Estes) to get legislation passed to give property owners some rights as to the use of their land. This is much like the situation of Jerry Jones taking peoples homes in Arlington, TX to build his new stadium.
  • by Jess on Jan 25, 2008 at 10:07 AM
    PJ, that 475 acres of land is THEIR LAND THAT THEY HAVE PAID FOR. No one has any right to come in and start digging on their property. Maybe they should start digging on your property, right through your house.
  • by jt on Jan 24, 2008 at 08:21 PM
    shut up start walking and splitting wood if you dont need gas
  • by JOHN Location: TRENTON on Jan 24, 2008 at 01:14 PM
  • by C Location: OK on Jan 24, 2008 at 10:39 AM
    With eminent domain they can do anything they want to your land. You have no choice! Eminent domain is one sided-for the government or utility company. To fight the process is a long drawn out process which is why most of the landowners give up. Would you want a pipeline coming that close to your bedroom window. I think not!!
  • by Terri Location: Madill on Jan 24, 2008 at 09:47 AM
    Mork, do you know how to spell? You must not have had an education. Imminent Domain has been abused for years and the tax payers and the legislature have to get together to rectify the problems. Madill is a good place to live and is growing yearly with good tax paying educated citizens
  • by You Location: Gunter on Jan 24, 2008 at 09:27 AM
    So "Me" if you are so supportive of the idea why don't you let them put the pipe line in your backyard. I am sure if it were you, the thought would be different. What is the point in buying and paying for your land if you have no say in what is done with it? Just remember you will be old one day too!!!
  • by PJ Location: Sherman on Jan 24, 2008 at 08:38 AM
    They own 475 acres, get a life, or move.
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