Justices Ease Pipeline Fears In State Land Rights Fight

By Keith Goldberg (June 29, 2021, 8:44 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Supreme Court allowed the pipeline industry to breathe a sigh of relief Tuesday by stripping states of a potential weapon to block proposed projects, ruling that states can't use sovereign immunity to prevent gas pipelines from being built on state-owned land.

Attorneys say the high court has effectively endorsed unfettered eminent domain authority for pipeline companies under the Natural Gas Act in concluding that developers of the $1 billion PennEast pipeline can seize New Jersey-owned land for the project.

The justices, in a 5-4 ruling, reversed a Third Circuit decision that the NGA's eminent domain provision doesn't trump the Garden State's 11th Amendment sovereign immunity from condemnation...

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