On Friday, Judge John Woodcock held that an ordinance enacted by the City of South Portland, Maine, that prohibited loading crude oil from a pipeline terminating in South Portland onto tankers in South Portland Harbor, in order to prevent certain adverse local impacts, did not violate the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. It’s potentially a very important decision in this area. Congratulations to my partner Jonathan Ettinger and our entire team that worked on the case. You can read more about it here.
Municipalities May Regulate the Local Impacts of Pipelines Without Violating the Commerce Clause
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OK, but how about a larger perspective? Until renewables replace petroleum products, those products still need to get from Montreal to New England and beyond. All options have risks – remember the disastrous train fire not long ago. An overland pipeline is the least risky means of transport and has far less risk than would an entire sequence of marine transport. So, where do we go from here?