U.S. Supreme Court Holds Pipeline Builders Can Exercise Eminent Domain over State-Owned Lands, Clearing Way for Important Infrastructure Development

Tuesday, June 29, 2021 - 3:00pm

In PennEast Pipeline Co., LLC, v. New Jersey, the U.S. Supreme Court held, 5-4, that once FERC approves a new pipeline, the company building the pipeline may condemn all necessary rights-of-way, including on land owned by state governments.  The PennEast Pipeline is a billion-dollar project.  New Jersey was trying to hold it up by asserting sovereign immunity against condemnation of lands in which it holds a property interest – a legal theory that would have jeopardized all new pipeline projects.  The Third Circuit had sided with New Jersey, raising the stakes considerably.  The U.S. Chamber filed in the Third Circuit and again at the cert and merits stages in the Supreme Court.