The U.S. Supreme Court said on Wednesday that it would hear the appeal of a lower court’s decision to block the PennEast natural gas pipeline from acquiring required easements for its $1.2 billion project.
Six years ago, PennEast applied to the federal government to build a 116-mile pipeline that would go from northeast Pennsylvania into western New Jersey. But in 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that the pipeline company could not use eminent domain powers to secure 42 New Jersey easements that were owned by the state required for the project.
PennEast ultimately sought review of the case with the Supreme Court, with the New Jersey Business & Industry Association joining that action as an amicus.
In a statement, PennEast said the initial Court of Appeals decision was “misguided” and “turned nearly 80 years of federal government interpretation and industry practice on their heads.”
“We remain hopeful that after hearing full arguments this term, the U.S. Supreme Court will agree that the Third Circuit’s decision was profoundly wrong,” said Tony Cox, chair of PennEast’s board of managers.
The appeal could have far-reaching ramifications on future pipeline projects across the country. On his first day in office last month, President Joe Biden canceled a permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline.