ST. MARTIN PARISH – Judge Keith Comeaux will be hearing a pre-trial on Friday regarding the constitutionality of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline in the Atchafalaya Basin.
Loyola University law professor Bill Quigly told KATC’s Josh Meny on Tuesday that the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Atchafalaya Basin Keepers say they are suing Energy Transfer Partners on behalf of hundreds of landowners in the Atchafalya Basin.
Quigly claims that ETP violated constitutional law by excavating and building on a 38 acre parcel of land in the basin without getting proper legal consent from the landowners.
The Center for Constitutional Rights will also be challenging the constitutionality of Louisiana’s eminent domain law for pipelines.
They argue the law is unconstitutional because it does not require pipeline companies to gain permission from a government agency before claiming eminent domain in Louisiana.
They explained that most states require pipeline companies to gain permits from their Public Service Commissions before claiming eminent domain and then building.
Quigly also argues that ETP will have to prove that the Bayou Bridge Pipeline is beneficial for the public good, a stipulation for claiming eminent domain.
Louisiana Bucket Brigade Founding Director, Anne Rolfes adds that ETP does not have the ability to prove that the pipeline benefits the public good.
Rolfes points out that the majority of employees working on the pipeline are from out-of-state, and the oil passing through the pipeline will be exported to the international market and not used for America’s domestic energy independence.
Rolfes also claims that ETP has suffered 500 ruptures in their pipelines in the last fifteen years.
If Judge Comeaux throws out the the pre-trial on Friday, a final ruling on eminent domain for the parcel of land will be held at the St. Martin Parish Courthouse on November 27th.
KATC covered the injunction leading to the November 27t trial in September.
To follow KATC’s continuing coverage of the controversy surrounding the pipeline go to the Bayou Bridge Pipeline archive page.