Lawsuits challenge railroad’s authority to OK oil pipeline

The U.S. government began handing out land to railroads to encourage their development more than 150 years ago, but there are still questions about how much control those companies have over the land. Union Pacific is facing several lawsuits related to whether a railroad it acquired years ago had the authority to allow an oil pipeline to be built along its tracks in six states and who is entitled to the royalties that are now worth more than $14 million a year.