Rich Phillips Quoted in Texas Lawbook on SCOTX Pipeline Cos. Ruling

“Pipeline Industry Notches Win at Texas Supreme Court in Eminent Domain Case”

After a nine year fight in Texas courts to establish that its carbon dioxide pipeline is a common carrier, Denbury Green walked away from the Supreme Court of Texas Friday with a big win.

The court determined that Denbury Green Pipeline-Texas met its burden by showing it had a post-construction contract to transport another company’s product, thus meeting a “reasonable probability” test the court had adopted for Denbury four years earlier.

Dallas appellate lawyer Richard B. Phillips of Thompson & Knight said the decision provides guidance about what kind of evidence is sufficient to show that the owner of a proposed pipeline is a common carrier.

“The Supreme Court rejected parts of the court of appeals ruling that would have made it harder to establish common carrier status,” said Phillips. “But the ruling did not disturb a prior decision that a company building a pipeline as a common carrier has the burden to show that there is a reasonable probability that the line will be used by one or more customers who are not affiliated with the pipeline owner.”