1/2 Jarndyce vs Appalachian Trail vs Natural Gas vs Cowpasture. @RichardAEpstein @HooverInst

Dec 06, 2019, 03:39 AM
Image:  Cover of the serial Bleak House by Charles Dickens.

Richard A Epstein, Chicago Law, NYU Law, the Hoover Institution senior Fellow; in re:  Pamela Karlan wagged her finger and lectured the US Congress today.  Oberkommander. “If we don't fight the Russians there, we’ll have to fight them here.”  Turley was too rational to make it to the headlines.

Our Precarious Pipeline Infrastructure, by Richard A. Epstein; Monday, December 2, 2019

The United States Supreme Court recently agreed to hear United States Forest Service v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association. In that case, the Fourth Circuit, speaking through Judge Stephanie Thacker, found multiple reasons to block the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC (Atlantic) from building, operating, and maintaining its 42-inch diameter natural gas pipeline.

Dickens, Bleak House: “On such an afternoon, if ever, the Lord High Chancellor ought to be sitting here, which he is . . .” — Jarndyce vs Jarndyce!  

“Whenever you deal with a pipeline (or a railroad), it’s long and skinny, which makes it susceptible to multiple suits.  Need to see who owns surface and who owns subsurface rights.

The ACP is designed to pass about 450 to 600 feet below the Appalachian Trail, and its proposed entry and exit points, both located on private lands, are about 1,400 and 3,400 feet from the trail, respectively. 

“This is natural gas from West Virginia to Eastern Virginia, so it must run deep below the Appalachian Trail for one-tenth of a mile.  Environmentalists are trying to block natural gas.   Who has jurisdiction to give right-of-way? Obviously, the Forest Service.”   The Fourth Circuit refused that.

“Nor, as is typical with NEPA reviews, did the Fourth Circuit address the far greater environmental hazards arising from shipping natural gas or crude oil by truck, rail, or tanker.”