Public meetings on eminent domain a good start
AUSTIN — There is an information vacuum when it comes to private companies using eminent domain in Texas.
Even though eminent domain is a governmental power that is supposed to be used only for the public good, private entities who use eminent domain have very few obligations to operate in the kind of transparent manner that citizens have come to expect from public projects.
Transmission line companies must at least present a proposed route to the Public Utility Commission, which meets in Austin and allows public input. Even then, the meeting only pertains to routing, and if property owners want to participate, they must abandon their day jobs to travel to Austin from every corner of Texas.