This Land is Your Land? Eminent Domain Under the Natural Gas Act and State Sovereign Immunity [October 30, 2019]   [open pdf - 602KB]

From the Document: "In passing the Natural Gas Act of 1938, Congress acknowledged that interstate natural gas pipelines and other natural gas transmission facilities serve the public interest. To facilitate the land acquisition process for pipelines, Congress amended the Natural Gas Act in 1947 to permit natural gas companies to exercise the power of federal eminent domain. But pipeline routes can require more than just privately owned property. In 2018, a pipeline construction company sought to exercise eminent domain over land set aside by the State of New Jersey for agriculture, conservation, and recreation. When New Jersey opposed the eminent domain action, the ensuing court battle set up a clash of two powers: the pipeline company's eminent domain power and New Jersey's power to control state lands and retain its sovereign immunity against the pipeline company. The Third Circuit's opinion in 'PennEast Pipeline Company, LLC v. New Jersey' calls into doubt whether the Natural Gas Act permits natural gas companies to condemn state lands--or whether such a grant of authority would even be constitutional. The issue is poised to reach another court of appeals in the coming months and may find its way to the Supreme Court."

Report Number:
CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10359
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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