Schneidewind v. ANR Pipeline Co

In Schneidewind v. ANR Pipeline Co., 485 U.S. 293, 308, 108 S.Ct. 1145, 99 L.Ed.2d 316 (1988), Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) considered an application by ANR, a natural gas company that sought to condemn property it deemed necessary to prevent migration of stored gas beyond its existing storage field boundary. 76 F.E.R.C. at 62,346. ANR sought a "revised, larger boundary" for its storage field in order "to acquire, through eminent domain if necessary, the property rights it needs to protect the stored gas." Id. FERC described its role under 7171f(c) as follows: Since ANR is an interstate natural gas pipeline engaged in the transportation of natural gas in interstate commerce, it is subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission and to section 7(C) 15 U.S.C. 717f(c) of the NGA. Where appropriate, the Commission has granted jurisdictional storage field operators amended certificate authority to revise their storage field boundaries in order to allow them to initiate condemnation procedures to seek storage easements that will allow for continued efficient operation of their certificated gas storage facilities. ANR Pipeline Co., 76 F.E.R.C. at 62,346. As indicated in ANR Pipeline Co., FERC must authorize natural gas companies to seek condemnation of additional property needed for efficient operation, and will grant such authorization only where "appropriate" and "required by the public convenience and necessity." Id. There would be no need for a natural gas company to apply to FERC for an amended authorization if it were free to condemn property required for efficient operation or maintenance purposes without FERC approval. See id.