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Supremes Seek PennEast Input from Trump Admin

The U.S. Supreme Court asked the Trump administration for input on a PennEast Pipeline Co. appeal that aims to jump-start a planned natural-gas line by securing key land-use rights from New Jersey.

The request to the U.S. solicitor general signals high court interest in the case, though the move will also mean months of additional delay for the stalled project.

The proposed 116-mile pipeline would carry as much as 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from northern Pennsylvania to New Jersey. PennEast is a joint venture of five companies including Southern Co. and Enbridge Inc.

A Philadelphia-based federal appeals court said the pipeline couldn’t use eminent domain power to gain access to more than 40 parcels that are either owned or partially controlled by New Jersey. The panel pointed to the Constitution’s 11th Amendment, which limits the circumstances in which private parties can sue states without their consent.

Unless the appeals court ruling is overturned, the pipeline may have to find a new route through New Jersey or turn to Congress to get the needed authority.

The case is PennEast v. New Jersey, 19-1039.


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