Public Power, Private Gain: Wyoming


Wyoming has no reported instances of the use of eminent domain for private development. The only eminent domain disputes in the state in the past five years involved the eminent domain power of railroads,717 oil and gas companies,718 and coal companies719 to condemn property for rights-of-way and mineral access. None involved the type of private eminent domain abuse so common in most of the rest of the country. Wyoming landowners are therefore safe from having their homes taken for scenic condominiums or small businesses demolished for larger ones.


717 Mead Gruver, “Senate Committee Kills Railroad Eminent Domain Bill,” AP Wire, Feb. 19, 1999.

718 See Wyoming Resources Corp. v. T-Chair Land Co., 49 P.3d 999 (Wyo. 2002).

719 “Coal Company Sues to Plug Oil and Gas Wells,” AP Wire, Jan. 17, 2000.