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Landlord Tenant Law Litigation

Court of Appeals Upholds Pipeline Condemnation

This article focuses on a recent decision upholding a pipeline developer’s exercise of eminent domain under New York law in National Fuel Gas Supply Corp. v. Schueckler.

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Eminent domain has divided pipeline developers, landowners, environmentalists, and the government in a recent series of high profile cases involving natural gas pipeline projects. For example, the Third Circuit in In re PennEast Pipeline Co., LLC, 938 F.3d 96 (3d Cir. 2019), held that eminent domain cannot be used to acquire state lands. And the D.C. Circuit, animated by concern about the ability for pipeline developers to use eminent domain long before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the courts finally resolve challenges to FERC’s certificates approving such infrastructure projects, recently overturned 30 years of jurisdiction-related precedents in Allegheny Defense Project, et al. v. FERC, No. 17-1098, 2020 WL 3525547 (D.C. Cir. Jun. 30, 2020) (en banc). The U.S. Supreme Court has signaled its interest in eminent domain by inviting the Solicitor General to address whether certiorari should be granted in PennEast.

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