The Nebraska Easement Action Team (NEAT) was created in 2012 out of necessity to have a unifying entity around eminent domain abuse and property right protection for affected landowners. As is often the case in pipeline battles, environmental groups are some of the early organizers and involved in outreach, which is great, except when your affected landowner audience is not politically or otherwise aligned with the mission or history of those groups. Thus, NEAT was born so landowners could have their own organization focused on property right defense with a unified legal team representing and speaking on behalf of all NEAT members. As an added benefit, the group was formed as a 501(c)(3) entity whereby donations could be made on a tax-deductible basis to assist in the land owners' efforts period.
The mission of easement teams is to consolidate landowner support to not agree to survey requests or sign easement agreements and to hold out and only negotiate easement terms as a collective block of landowners, if and when this becomes necessary, i.e. all other efforts have been exhausted. By having an entity that landowners can identify with and have confidence in the legal representation associated with that entity, all free from political, environmental, and traditional advocacy based issues, easement action teams have successfully allowed landowners across the country to engage in information sharing, relationship building, holding out from the pressures of pipeline companies, and ultimately becoming the resistance, voice, and delay necessary to successfully defeat eminent domain overreach and, in the end, win against all odds.
The successful model for pipeline and major infrastructure project resistance is :