Leveling the Playing Field for Landowners


Armed With My Pipeline Fighting Shoes

Welcome. I am Attorney Carolyn Elefant and I protect landowners' private property and defend their Fifth Amendment rights from encroachment by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), private gas companies pipelines and eminent domain.  Following my graduation from Cornell Law School in 1988,  I started my career as an attorney-advisor at FERC where as a young lawyer, I worked to ensure that FERC complied with the environmental laws that apply to development of energy projects.  After leaving FERC, I worked at several national law firms before starting my own firm in 1994.

For the past decade, much of my practice has focused on fighting for landowners drawn into pipeline proceedings at FERC. I've helped property owners, school districts, municipalities, cannabis farms, resorts and conservation trusts challenge pipelines, negotiate fair easement terms and secure  the just compensation to which they are constitutionally entitled.  I've defended landowners all across the country before all levels of state and federal court, including the United States Supreme Court. With the recent decision in  City of Oberlin v. FERC, I became the only FERC landowner attorney in the country to win a constitutional challenge to the use of eminent domain by a gas company.  I've also helped landowners successfully oppose pipelines and identify reroutes off their property -- and when that wasn't possible, I recovered millions of dollars in just compensation for their property.  For more information about my firm, visit Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant.

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About Carolyn Elefant

What is the Natural Gas Act?

Notes - Natural Gas Act, 15 U.S.C. §717f 

Why Are Private Gas Companies Allowed to Exercise the Power of Eminent Domain?

For details on pipelines and eminent domain power, view this.paper on eminent domain challenges to pipelines.

Why Does A Finding of Public Purpose Matter So Much in Approving A Natural Gas Pipeline?

How Does The FERC Pipeline Process Start: Open Season and Pre-Filing

Pre-Filing Regulations (18 C.F.R. §157.21)

How Does the FERC Process to Review a Gas Pipeline Begin: The Formal Application

What Is Intervention and Why Is It So Critical For Landowners To Intervene in the FERC Certificate Proceeding?

FERC Rules for Intervention (18 C.F.R.§385.214)

What Happens After a Gas Company Files A Formal Application for Approval of a Pipeline?

What Is the Four-Prong Test that FERC Applies to Decide Whether to Approve a Pipeline?

What Happens After FERC Approves a Certificate: Rehearing Process & Tolling Orders

When Can A Gas Company File for Eminent Domain?

What Are Tolling Orders and Why Do They Hurt Landowners?

Read more about current legal challenges and congressional investigation to tolling orders here.

Did You Know That Gas Companies Can Take Your Property and Not Provide Just Compensation Until Years Later?