Justia Wisconsin Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Energy, Oil & Gas Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals reversing the judgment of the circuit court striking two insurance conditions from a conditional use permit (CUP) Dane County issued to Enbridge Energy Company as unenforceable under 2015 Wisconsin Act 55, holding that because Enbridge carried the requisite insurance, Act 55 rendered Dane County's extra insurance conditions unenforceable. The two conditions at issue required Enbridge to procure additional insurance prior to Enbridge expanding its pipeline pump station. Dane County approved the CUP with these insurance conditions. Thereafter, the Wisconsin Legislature passed Act 55, which prohibits counties from requiring an interstate pipeline operator to obtain additional insurance when the pipeline operating company carries comprehensive general liability insurance with coverage for "sudden and accidental" pollution liability. Dane County issued the CUP with the invalid insurance conditions. The circuit court struck the two conditions from the CUP as unenforceable under Act 55. The court of appeals reversed on the ground that Enbridge failed to show it carried the requisite coverage triggering the statutory prohibition barring the County from imposing additional insurance procurement requirements. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Enbridge carried the requisite insurance, and therefore, Dane County's extra insurance conditions were unenforceable. View "Enbridge Energy Co. v. Dane County" on Justia Law

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The circuit court affirmed the Trempealeau County Environment & Land Use Committee’s denial of a conditional use permit application for non-metallic mineral mining submitted by AllEnergy Corporation and allEnergy Silica, Arcadia, LLC (collectively, AllEnergy). The court of appeals affirmed the circuit court’s order. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Committee applied the factors and considerations set forth in the applicable ordinance and thus kept within its jurisdiction in denying AllEnergy’s application for a conditional use permit; (2) there is substantial evidence to support the Committee’s decision to deny AllEnergy a conditional use permit; and (3) this court does not adopt the new legal doctrine urged by AllEnergy that a conditional use permit applicant is entitled to the permit under certain conditions. View "AllEnergy Corp. v. Trempealeau County Environment & Land Use Committee" on Justia Law

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Oneida Seven Generations Corporation proposed a renewable energy facility and sought a conditional use permit to install the facility in the City of Green Bay. The City voted to approve the conditional use permit but later voted to rescind the permit on the grounds that it was obtained through misrepresentation. The circuit court affirmed the City’s decision to rescind. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the City’s decision that the permit was obtained through misrepresentation was not supported by substantial evidence. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that, based on the evidence presented, the City could not reasonably conclude that the statements by Oneida Seven’s representative regarding the facility’s operations were misrepresentations. View "Oneida Seven Generations Corp. v. City of Green Bay" on Justia Law

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At issue in this case was whether the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) correctly concluded the Wisconsin Power and Light's (WPL) application to construct a large, out-of-state, electric generating facility was properly reviewed under Wis. Stat. 196.49(3), the certificate of authority (CA) statute, or whether Wis. Stat. 196.491(3), the certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) statute, should have been applied. The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court's order, which affirmed the PSC's interim order, holding that the PSC's interpretation of the CPCN law as applying exclusively to in-state facilities and its decision to analyze WPL's application under the CA law were reasonable, and there was not a more reasonable interpretation of the CA and CPCN laws. View "Wis. Indus. Energy Group v. Pub. Serv. Comm'n" on Justia Law