Ga. argues that a pipeline company isn’t really a pipeline company

[private]Attorney General Sam Olens has asked a judge to dismiss a petition filed by the energy company trying to get a permit for a billion-dollar petroleum pipeline crossing through eastern Georgia.

In his filing in Fulton County Superior Court, Olens and his assistants argued that Palmetto Products Pipe Line LLC, which is proposing to build the Palmetto Pipeline, isn’t really a corporation and thus has no legal standing to sue the state.

“Palmetto is not ‘a corporation organized under the laws of this state or which is organized under the laws of another state,’” Olens said in the filing. “Rather, Palmetto is a foreign LLC, or ‘limited liability company.’”

“Under the plain language of the [state] Pipeline Act, then, Palmetto does not have standing to pursue an application for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity and this Petition must be dismissed for lack of standing,” Olens argued.

Palmetto Products Pipe Line LLC is a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, the Texas-based energy company that wants to spend as much as $1 billion to build a petroleum pipeline that would start in South Carolina, extend across a 210-mile stretch of Georgia, and then terminate in Jacksonville, Fla.

Palmetto applied in February for a certificate from the Georgia Department of Transportation that would give the company eminent domain authority to condemn property where needed along the pipeline route.

DOT Commissioner Russell McMurry, however, decided in May to deny the permit. Gov. Nathan Deal also expressed opposition to the pipeline project.

Palmetto filed a petition in June asking Fulton County Superior Court to reverse McMurry’s decision to deny the permit, alleging that his denial was “arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion.”

A hearing on the petition is scheduled for Nov. 13 before Judge Kimberly M. Esmond Adams, who presumably would rule on whether Georgia is making a valid argument that Palmetto is not a corporation with the standing to sue the state.

© 2015 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: DOT , Palmetto Pipeline , Sam Olens , state certificate