LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The Mayflower spill has evoked several strong emotions against pipelines.
One case has involved State Senator Jason Rapert as he visited the site of the oil spill over the weekend. A photo circulated online accusing him of co-sponsoring a bill that would give private pipeline companies eminent domain to seize Arkansas land.
Tuesday, he said that is simply not true.
"The bottom line is HB 1042 literally would help prevent private entities from coming in and taking property over the will of the original property owner. So, unfortunately, folks that do not read the bill carefully, understand the context, they have made some assumptions that are just erroneous," he explained.
However, a copy of the bill posted on arkleg.state.ar.us states language as follows:
Private property shall not be acquired by eminent domain for a private commercial enterprise, economic development in the private sector, or any other private use except use by:
(1) Privately owned utilities;
(2) Electric cooperatives;
(3) Publicly owned utilities;
(4) Utilities owned by improvement districts;
(5) Pipeline companies;
(6) Railroads; and
(7) Other common carriers.
Representative Nate Bell serves as the prime sponsor for the bill. Exxon has reached out to Senator Rapert to assist them with community concerns.