Tex. Rice Land Partners, Ltd. v. Denbury Green Pipeline-Texas, LLC, 2015 Tex. App. B Lexis 1377 (Tex. Civ. App. B Beaumont 2015)
Denbury Green sought to construct a carbon dioxide pipeline across Tex. Rice=s land. When Tex. Rice refused, Denbury received an injunction based on its claiming to be a common carrier. The Beaumont court of appeals affirmed, but the Texas Supreme Court reversed and developed a new standard for determining common carrier status and remanded the case for determination if Denbury met the standard. The trial court on remand granted Denbury Green=s motion for summary judgment.
To exercise the right of eminent domain, an entity must meet the definition as a Acommon carrier.@ The court held that the Texas Supreme Court=s new test was that for a person to claim this status, Aa reasonable probability must exist that the pipeline will at some point after construction serve the public by transporting gas for one or more customers who will either retain ownership of their gas or sell it to parties other than the carrier.@ Thus, the test was factual and depends on Denbury Green=s state of mind at the time of its plan to construct the pipeline. The court of appeals remanded the case to the trial court for trial on this issue.