When for-profit energy companies take your land:
Property owners in Henderson and Polk counties are learning about the limits on their rights to control the property they own and to control what happens to the hillside they view from their back porch.
When electric power lines and pipelines are needed for the public use and benefit, the state of North Carolina grants private companies the right to condemn the property necessary for their projects. So when Duke Energy provides a case that the increasing use of electricity in Western North Carolina justifies the installation of a new power line from South Carolina leading up to Asheville, they are granted the ability to condemn the property along a selected route for the transmission line.
While the issue of government exercising eminent domain to secure land for the general public's transportation and utility needs is complex, and not suited to across-the-board declarations of right or wrong, the hypocrisy of "property rights" advocates on the right is neither complex nor justifiable. If elected officials overreach they can be removed from office, but the general public has no recourse when corporations are granted the power to take property. And when those conquests result in profits, the perpetrators are usually rewarded, sometimes to the tune of millions in salary and stock options. True Libertarians would be horrified by that, but corporate puppets wearing a Libertarian mask? Crickets.