ATLANTA – The Texas-based energy company planning to build a 200-mile pipeline across East Georgia suffered a setback in court Tuesday when a judge rejected its appeal.

Attorneys for Kinder Morgan had asked a Fulton County Superior Court judge to overturn state Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry’s denial last May of the company’s application for the power to seize property from owners unwilling to sell. The so-called eminent-domain authority allows utilities to avoid costly detours by requiring a judge to set a fair price for rights of way across the seized property.

Kinder Morgan plans to invest $1 billion in what it calls the Palmetto Pipeline between Belton, S.C., and Jacksonville, Fla.

Judge Kimberly M. Esmonds Adams issued her decision Tuesday ruling against the pipeline company.

“Having concluded that the record does support the commissioner’s decision, and in the absence of any proffer by Palmetto as to how some different procedure or additional evidence would have changed the commissioner’s decision, this court finds that the commissioner’s decision is adequately

supported by the record evidence and therefore affirms the decision of the commissioner, and denies Palmetto’s petition for review,” she wrote in a court order signed Monday.

Also on Monday, the House of Representatives voted 165-2 in support of a bill designed to stall the pipeline by imposing a moratorium until July, 2017, while new procedures are written.


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