It is a little-known fact that, in New York, electric and gas corporations may acquire property via eminent domain if said property is necessary for its corporate purposes. Eminent domain is an awesome power that is usually reserved for the government. However, New York state has long granted this same eminent domain power to utilities as well.

Before we delve into the subject at hand, it is important to first understand the broad power of eminent domain, especially in New York. Under the takings clause in the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution (the Fifth Amendment) and Article I, Section 7, of the New York State Constitution “… [P]rivate property shall not be taken for public use, without just compensation.” See U.S. Constitution amend. V; N.Y. Const. art. I, §7.