Texas Supreme Court hears case with far-reaching implications for Texas landowners
The Supreme Court of Texas just heard oral arguments and is currently considering the case of Terrance J. Hlavinka, et al. v. HSC Pipeline Partnership LLC. The case involves issues with far-reaching implications for Texas landowners. We need every Texas landowner’s support to ensure that all our rights are protected.
In this critical case, HSC Pipeline Partnership LLC (HSC), a subsidiary of Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (Enterprise), is attempting to use eminent domain to acquire a thirty-foot wide easement that covers in excess of 1.76 miles over private farmland in Brazoria County. The land is owned by the hardworking business owners Terrance and Kenneth Hlavinka.
“We have been in the business of selling the pipeline easements business for a long time. Unfortunately, we are now being forced to defend our constitutional rights to obtain the fair market value other companies have voluntarily paid without filing or threatening a lawsuit in the past. We are simply asking the Texas Supreme Court to protect the rights of Texas landowners and fairly enforce the Constitution by providing adequate and just compensation in cases if an entity has the right to condemn,” said Terry Hlavinka, owner of the Terrance Hlavinka Cattle Company.
In 2016, the Hlavinka family attempted to negotiate a fair market price for the use of their land with Enterprise. This billion-dollar midstream oil and gas company was unwilling to pay fair market value for the easement as other companies (including Dow Chemical and Praxair, Inc.) had paid on the same property, and instead opted to sue the Hlavinka family claiming HSC (Enterprise’s wholly-owned subsidiary) is a common carrier and the line is put to public use. However, the line was built for and is only used by one customer of Enterprise, to carry a product (polymer grade propylene) Enterprise makes and sells to that single customer’s facility. This is not a case involving natural gas or crude oil lines which are constructed to transport oil and gas of several entities to various points, and the case does not involve a product that is refined and consumed across the state and country like natural gas or crude oil.
“We’re not anti-oil and gas. We are completing an oil well on this property as we speak. We’re invested in several forms of energy production. Oil and gas is certainly one of those. Our desire is to get fair and just compensation as provided by the state Constitution,” said Terry Hlavinka in a recent interview for the USA Today Network.
We need your help to stop this billion-dollar oil company from unjustly claiming the right to take the private property of a Texas family who has successfully built this business from the ground up. Please contact your State Representative, State Senators, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Texas Governor Greg Abbott and ask them to defend Texas landowners. You can also voice your support on social media.