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Iowa RCO Association v. Illinois Commerce Commission

409 N.E.2d 77 (1980)

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Iowa RCO Association v. Illinois Commerce Commission

Illinois Appellate Court

409 N.E.2d 77 (1980)

Facts

The Illinois Commerce Commission (the commission) (defendant) considered a petition by Northern Pipe Line Company of Delaware, Incorporated (Northern) for a certificate of public convenience and necessity for construction and operation of a 200-mile-long crude-oil pipeline from Wood River, Illinois, to Pine Bend, Minnesota. The purpose of the pipeline was to provide a route to transmit crude oil between refineries. The construction of the pipeline would have required the taking of private property through the exercise of the power of eminent domain by Northern. Refineries in the north-central area of the country had been dependent on Canadian crude-oil imports, but Canada announced plans to reduce crude-oil exports to zero. The pipeline was to provide only interstate shipments of oil. Under both the federal Interstate Commerce Act and Illinois’s Public Utilities Act, Northern would have been required to furnish nondiscriminatory services to nonaffiliated users seeking to use the pipeline. Iowa RCO Association (RCO) (plaintiff) objected at the commission’s hearing on Northern’s petition. RCO argued that Northern was not a public utility; that the pipeline was not for public use of Illinois residents, among other claims, so Northern could not exercise the power of eminent domain; and that the issuance of the certificate of public convenience and necessity was improper. The commission granted Northern’s petition, and RCO appealed to the circuit court. The circuit court affirmed the commission’s decision. RCO appealed to the Illinois Appellate Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Green, J.)

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