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EEIA to Supreme Court: overturn disastrous ruling allowing a state to veto pipelines

Published by , Senior Editor
World Pipelines,

In a brief filed on 8 March with the US Supreme Court, the Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance (EEIA) urged the Court to reverse a lower court’s disastrous earlier ruling that would allow a state to unilaterally veto a Federally-approved interstate natural gas pipeline project.

The Court recently accepted the case for review.

In PennEast Pipeline Company vs. the State of New Jersey, the Court will hear in April an appeal of the lower court’s ruling preventing the pipeline’s use of eminent domain to gain rights of way through New Jersey state-owned lands, effectively stopping the pipeline from construction. PennEast is planned to transport Marcellus natural gas from northeastern Pennsylvania to customers along its 128 mile route to south-central New Jersey.

Because the ruling could apply to pipelines nationwide crossing state-owned lands, last year EEIA urged the Supreme Court to hear the case, arguing that “the decision will have severe national economic consequences on the complex commercial web that provides the equipment, labour, and infrastructure necessary to build interstate pipelines.” The Court accepted the case for review, which only happens in about 6% of appeals submitted.

EEIA’s brief advises the Court that failure to reverse the decision “will stunt investment and destroy thousands more jobs in the dozens of industries that supply equipment, materials and services for the construction of pipelines, the upstream facilities producing natural gas, and the downstream facilities consuming it.”

In urging the Court to reverse, EEIA’s President Toby Mack observed that “permitting a single state unilaterally to halt an interstate pipeline project will destabilise natural gas markets and upend the complex commercial web that provides the equipment, labour, and infrastructure to make those pipelines possible.”

A ruling is expected in June.


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World Pipelines’ March 2021 issue

The March 2021 issue of World Pipelines includes: a regional report on pipeline projects in Asia-Pacific; a summary of the latest and best construction equipment courtesy of the annual Heavy Equipment Review; a welding-focused Q&A; and technical articles on hot tapping, sustainable steel and decommissioning.

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US pipeline news