Rep Wants Gov’t to Compensate More Landowners for Cost of Regulations
A New York Republican lawmaker wants to make it easier for people who have lost revenue as a result of government regulation to seek compensation.
Spurred by Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's ban on hydraulic fracturing, known more commonly as "fracking," Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., is proposing a bill that would let landowners who have seen the value of their property plummet seek payment.
Under current law, landowners must prove that their land has been rendered completely useless in order to seek compensation. Reed's bill would be less strict, allowing residents to take action if their land value has depreciated by either 20 percent or $20,000, whichever is less.
Reed said he was motivated to draft the legislation after hearing from a constituent whose farm encompasses land in both Pennsylvania and New York. According to Reed, the constituent was unable to fully profit off of mineral deposits on the portions of his land in New York due to the state's fracking ban.
Currently, 35 states permit fracking but Reed warns the environmental regulations being pursued by the Obama administration pose risks to property values beyond the impact of local fracking bans.
Reed said under current law, it is extremely difficult for just compensation to be awarded.
"For me, this is not a partisan issue. It is an American issue, it is about individual property rights," Reed said.
The New York Republican represents a southern New York district and is actively seeking Democratic support. Reed says the measure already has some support from backers of Cuomo's fracking ban.
The legislation is currently before the House Judiciary Committee.