Appeals Court: Mariner East 2 Eminent Domain Can be Challenged

Gavel-falling.jpgIn February, a Philadelphia judge for the Court of Common Pleas (low-level court in PA) ruled in favor of the anti-drilling Clean Air Council against Sunoco Logistics Partners and their Mariner East 2 pipeline (see Philly Judge Says Case Against Mariner East 2 Can Proceed). The ruling was nothing more than “this case has merits” (in the eyes of the judge) and can proceed. The case itself is challenging the right of Mariner East 2 to use eminent domain against landowners in building the new pipeline. The Clean Air Council’s argument is that since most of the natural gas liquids that will flow through the pipeline will get exported or otherwise not used in PA itself, that moves Mariner East from being a public utility with eminent domain power to an interstate pipeline more properly reviewed and permitted by federal authorities. It’s a delay tactic, because if Mariner East 2 were to come under the aegis of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and eventually permitted, they would also be entitled to use eminent domain. But a FERC review would take years. Sunoco LP appealed the ruling and last week the appeals court rejected Sunoco’s arguments, sending the case back to the lower court where it will now be tried…

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