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However, this does not mean that the courts defer
blindly to the legislature. "The greatest weight is given to the judgment of the legislature but it is always open to interested parties to contend that the legislature has gone
beyond its constitutional power." Pennsylvania Coal Co. v.
Mahon, 435. Ct. 159 (1922).
The expansion and sophistication of the concept of police
power is continuous.
Police power can be extended to regulate
area which, due to changed circumstances, might now infringe
on the public interest.
A reasonable business today may be
a menace tomorrow.
Dobbins v. Los Angeles, 25 s. Ct. 18
(1904). A Texas court has stated that an oil operator acquired no "vested right" in spacing rules which were in effect at the time his tract was segregated and the lease acquired. The
very nature of police power, from which the state derives its
right to regulate the production of oil and gas, subjects
such rules to change from time to time to permit fair and
equitable adjustment of the machinery of oil proration to meet changing conditions. Texas Trading v. Stanolind Oil & Gas Co., 161 S.W. 2d 1046-1047.
As these cases illustrate, the definition of police
power is not static; the scope of legitimate exercise of police power is therefore capable of expansion by movement in another direction such as mandatory storage of industrial petroleum reserves as part of the nation's emergency preçarecess.
Eminent Domain versus Police Power
It should be recognized that there are in fact limits placed upon the use of the police power by the Fifth Amendment. "As long recognized some property) values are enjoyed under
an implied limitation and must yield to the police power.
But obviously the implied limitation must have its limits or
the contract and due process clauses are gone."
Coal Co. v. Mahon, 43 S. Ct. 158, 159 (1922).
At such a
point, the state has crossed the thin line separating police power from eminent domain. The distinguishing characteristic between eminent domain and police power is that the former involves taking property because of its need for the public
use while the latter involves regulation of such property to
prevent the use thereof in a manner detrimental to the
public interest. Nicholls, Law of Eminent Domain, $1.42 (2) (30 Ed. 1950). "Eminent domain takes private property for public use while the police power regulates its use and
enjoyment, or if it takes or damages it, it is not a taking
or damaging for public use but to conserve the safety,
morals, health and general welfare of the public." City of
Los Angeles v. Aitken, 52 P. 2d 585, 590.
In Appeal of
White, 134 A. 409, 411, the court stressed another distinc
tion between the two.
"Police power controls use of property
by the owner for the public good, its use being otherwise
harmful; no payment being made for diminution in use even
though it amounts to an actual taking or destruction of property. Eminent doma in takes property for public use and gives compensation for property taken, injured or destroyed."
The intent of the IPR program is to establish reserves which will be returned to the contributors when the program expires in 1985: in the event of an emergency, the intent is still to return the petroleum to its owners unless some allocation program is in effect, in which case, they would be cor.peasated.
The IPR program does not envision the government taking and using the petroleum itself. It is not a taking for public use but a regulation of the petroleum industry
mandating the establishment of reserves.
unrestricted use of the petroleum, without reserves as
protection in the event of an Arab boycott or other interruption
of petroleum imports, is not in the public's interest.
Establishment of the reserves is part of a program to protect
the national safety and welfare..
Actual physical appropriation need not occur to invoke the requirement of just compensation if the legislation in issue is so unreasonable or arbitrary as virtually to deprive a person of complete use and enjoyment of his property through destruction or severe impairment. See Welch v. Swasey, 214 U.S. 91 (1909), Pennsylvania Coal Co. v. Mahon, 43 S. Ct. 158 (1922), Goldblatt v. Hempstead, 369 U.S. 590
(1962). Property is taken in a constitutional sense whenever
such inroads are made upon the owner's use of it that, as between private parties, a servitude is acquired either by
agreement or in the course of time.
U.S. v. Dickinson, 331
U.S. 745, 748 (1947).
In United States v. Causby, 66 s. cł. 1062 (1946). military planes constantly flew so low over the plaintiff's
land that he was deprived of the use and enjoyment of his
land for purposes of raising chickens.
This constant intru
sion on the use of the land constituted a taking entitling him to compensation. Similarly, in United States v. Kansas City Life Ins. Co., 70 s. ct 885 (1950), the Court
held that construction of the dam which maintained the river constantly at high water mark, flooding the plaintiff's land entitled the plainti£f to compensation as a result of the "taking". In neither of these cases, did the government
attempt to show that these actions came within the police power. It might indeed be difficult to argue that flying low over a chicken farm served the public interest or protected
the health of the community.
Nonetheless, for this reason,
a distinction exists between these cases and the IPR program,
which is intended to protect the general safety and welfare.
To escape the requirements of compensation in the case of eminent domain, the IPR regulations must clearly demonstrate this distinction; that they serve a legitimate expression of police power, as public safety, general welfare, and development of resources. The purpose of the IPR statute
must be shown to be the regulation of industrial petroleum
so as to prohibit its being used in a manner detrimental to the public interest, so that it is clearly not a "taking"
for the public use.
Is it a Burden to be borne by Public as a whole?
The Fifth Amendment guarantee that private property should not be taken for a public use without just compensation was designed to prevent the government from forcing
some people alone to bear public burdens which, in all
fairness, should be borne by the public as a whole.
v. U.S. 364 U.S. 40, 48-49 (1960).
However, in another case the Court states that "lilt is
true that police power embraces regulations designed to
promote public conveience or the general welfare, and not merely those in the interest of public health, safety and morals.
But when particular individuals are singled out to bear the cost of advancing the public convenience, that imposition msut bear some reasonable relation to the
evils to be eradicated or the advantages to be secure."
Nashville, C. & St. L. Ry. V. Walters, 294 U.S. 405, 429
In light of the language in these cases, implementation
of the IPR program should attempt to minimize the burdens to
be borne by the oil companies.
Consideration should be
given to the possibility of allowing the companies to pass