Denbury Green Pipeline-Texas, LLC v. Texas Rice Land Partners, Ltd. (Opinion)Annotate this Case
Denbury Green Pipeline-Texas, LLC was formed to build and operate a carbon dioxide pipeline known as “the Green Line” as a common carrier in Texas. Denbury Green filed a permit application with the Texas Railroad Commission to obtain common carrier status, which would give it eminent domain authority pursuant to the Texas Natural Resources Code. The Railroad Commission granted Denbury Green the permit. Denbury Green then filed suit against Texas Rice Land Partners, Ltd., James Holland, and David Holland (collectively, Texas Rice) seeking an injunction allowing access to certain real property so that it could complete a pipeline survey. While the suit was pending, Denbury Green took possession of Texas Rice’s property and then surveyed for and constructed the Green Line. The trial court granted summary judgment to Denbury Green. On remand, the court of appeals reversed, concluding that reasonable minds could differ regarding whether, at the time Denbury Green intended to build the Green Line, a reasonable probability existed that the Green Line would serve the public. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Denbury Green is a common carrier as a matter of law because there was a reasonable probability that, at some point after construction, the Green Line would serve the public, as it does currently.