Dividends and US Supreme Court backs consortium of pipeline firms in New Jersey land dispute

In late June, the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of a consortium of energy companies seeking to seize land from the the state of New Jersey to build a $1 billion natural gas pipeline despite the state’s objections.

In an article by Lawrence Hurley of Reuters, the consortium of energy companies called PennEast Pipeline LLC wanted to build a pipeline from Pennsylvania to New Jersey to supply about 5 million homes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The pipeline had to go through lands owned by the State of New Jersey who said no.

However, the consortium of companies including South Jersey Industries, New Jersey Resources, Southern Co, UGI and Enbridge. had received a FERC or Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2018. The Supreme Court ruled 1938 law called the Natural Gas Act allowed private companies to seize necessary properties if they have received approval from the FERC. The ruling was 5-4.

Linking to dividend paying stocks, many have the ability to have a long lead time before projects can be approved. The pipeline companies started working on the project 10 years ago and have the patience and resources to ensue approvals are given. The issues changed from jobs to energy security to other concerns but the pipeline companies had a good argument and won. Patience and resources for companies which will affectively have a monopoly are good things to have, and usually there is a strategy to achieve the results.

There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.

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