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Baker Botts Secures Dismissal of $2 Billion Pipeline Lawsuit Against Kinder Morgan

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AUSTIN, TX, June 26, 2019 — A Travis County district court late Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit against two Baker Botts clients—Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline, LLC and its affiliate, Permian Highway Pipeline, LLC—that had sought to enjoin their construction of the Permian Highway Pipeline, a $2 billion, 430-mile natural gas pipeline.

Hays County, the City of Kyle, and three landowners filed the lawsuit in April, claiming that the process for determining the route of natural gas pipelines violates the Texas Constitution. The plaintiffs also sued the Texas Railroad Commission.

Travis County District Judge Lora Livingston ruled in favor of Baker Botts’ clients on all counts and granted summary judgment dismissing all of the plaintiffs’ claims. The court also concluded that it lacked jurisdiction over the plaintiffs’ claims against the Texas Railroad Commission.

“This ruling is in line with well-established Texas precedent regarding the constitutionality of the eminent domain process and the substantial safeguards that the process provides to Texas landowners,” said Baker Botts partner Bill Kroger. “This was the most important oil and gas pipeline case pending in the state, and we are happy to have achieved such a great result for our clients.”

The Permian Highway Pipeline is a $2 billion project that will provide much-needed additional natural gas transport capacity from the Permian Basin in West Texas to growing market areas in the Texas Hill Country and along the Texas Gulf Coast.

Throughout the pipeline’s development, its route has been carefully evaluated to minimize potential impacts to the environment and to landowners, while also being cost-effective and constructible.

Upon completion, the Permian Highway Pipeline will be able to transport up to 2.1 billion cubic feet per day of dry natural gas through approximately 430 miles of 42-inch pipeline from the Waha, Texas area to the Katy, Texas area.

This project is expected to provide almost $1 billion in additional revenue each year to the state of Texas and its counties to support local schools, first responders, and other vital needs. Additionally, individual leaseholders are projected to receive more than $2 billion per year in new oil and natural gas royalties.

The case is Sansom et al. v. Texas Railroad Commission et al., Cause No. D-1-GN-19-002161, in the 345th District Court for Travis County, Texas.

The Baker Botts team that represented Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline, LLC and Permian Highway Pipeline, LLC included Bill Kroger, Jim Barkley, and Amy Hefley from the firm’s Houston office, and Gavin R. Villareal and Thomas R. Phillips from the firm’s Austin office.

 

ABOUT BAKER BOTTS L.L.P.
Baker Botts is an international law firm of approximately 700 lawyers practicing throughout a network of 13 offices around the globe. Based on our experience and knowledge of our clients' industries, we are recognized as a leading firm in the energy, technology, and life sciences sectors. Since 1840, we have provided creative and effective legal solutions for our clients while demonstrating an unrelenting commitment to excellence. For more information, please visit bakerbotts.com.

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