The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Wednesday to hear a pipeline developer’s appeal of a lower court ruling blocking it from seizing state-held land by eminent domain. The PennEast Pipeline Co. seeks a reversal of an appeals court ruling that upheld the state of New Jersey’s refusal to allow it to take state-owned land by eminent domain for the construction of the 116-mile methane gas pipeline. The Solicitor General under the previous administration weighed in on behalf of the pipeline company and urged the Court to hear the case.
Some experts said the Biden administration was unlikely to reverse that position because the question at issue over executive power (not the wisdom of the pipeline) is not one over which DOJ views have traditionally changed across Democratic and Republican administrations. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the question of whether PennEast can use FERC-approved eminent domain authority to seize land controlled by the state in April. (The Hill, E&E $, Bloomberg $, Politico Pro $, Reuters, SCOTUSblog; Biden DOJ: E&E $)