The Railroad Commission of Texas is what most States call “Public Utility” or “Public Service Commissions”. The regulation by the Railroad Commission is tantamount to absolute control of a use through the court system.
The question of whether a proper and necessary license with real issues raised is still festering in the Railroad Commission. The Denbury decision has created certainty that the delegation is required.
The Railroad Commission of Texas — which regulates the state’s 426,000-mile network of natural gas, hazardous liquid and other pipelines — has offered rules aimed at clarifying when pipelines qualify as “common carriers,” a status indicating availability for public use and enabling companies to seize private land using eminent domain. The agency is accepting comments on the proposal until late August.
The proposal would require companies to submit documentation supporting a common carrier claim and give the commission 45 days to review an application. Currently, companies seeking common carrier status need only to mark a line on a permit application — an honor system that has spurred legal battles over eminent domain claims.