Texas Rice Land Partners Ltd. and Mike Latta v. Denbury Green Pipeline-Texas LLC
from Jefferson County and the Ninth District Court of Appeals, Beaumont
For petitioner: Amy Warr, Austin
For respondent: Lynne Liberato, Houston
Justice Wainwright CONCURRING, joined by Justice Johnson :
Some affiliate relationships will not suffice to make gas transport for the public’s benefit, but the Court in providing guidance should take care not to issue pronouncements exceeding the scope of the facts in dispute. The scope of the term affiliate as used in the Court’s opinion is broader than all the referenced definitions of affiliate in the natural resources statutes and regulations. The Court can protect property rights under the Constitution without undermining the recognition in Texas law of corporate entities’ separateness. And it should not leave the breadth of the disqualifying affiliate relationships unbounded when it is so important to both property owners and the energy industry.