TOM JOHNSON / NJ SPOTLIGHT – PennEast Pipeline LLC yesterday vowed to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court a lower court ruling that looms as a major impediment to its proposed 120 mile-project to bring natural gas from Pennsylvania into New Jersey.
The company announced in a press release it would seek to overturn a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit that denied PennEast’s bid to condemn state-owned lands for its $1 billion project.
The three-judge panel ruled in September that private companies do not have the authority to condemn state-owned lands under the 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Under the doctrine of sovereign immunity, a state cannot be sued by a private company without its consent.
The lower court decision upends nearly 80 years of practice by the natural gas industry and ignores the intent of Congress in passing a critical provision of the Natural Gas Act, according to PennEast …