A construction vehicle reaching its digging arm over a pipeline, which is in the process of being buried in the ground.

Oil Export Infrastructure Projects

State attor­neys gen­er­al are address­ing ener­gy infra­struc­ture projects and needs in their states and regions, includ­ing advo­cat­ing for the inter­ests of com­mu­ni­ties that would be affect­ed by pro­posed oil export infrastructure.

Advo­ca­cy in the States



  • April 2019

    In April 2019, Mass­a­chu­setts Attor­ney Gen­er­al Mau­ra Healey led a coali­tion of four­teen attor­neys gen­er­al, includ­ing Maine Attor­ney Gen­er­al Aaron Frey, in fil­ing an ami­cus brief in sup­port of a City of South Port­land, Maine ordi­nance that pro­hibits the export and bulk load­ing of crude oil at its water­front. Port­land Pipe Line Cor­po­ra­tion chal­lenged the 2015 ordi­nance as pre­empt­ed under fed­er­al and state statutes and argued that it should be allowed to pro­ceed with its pro­posed project in South Port­land, which would reverse the flow of an exist­ing pipeline and emit haz­ardous air pol­lu­tants into the sur­round­ing community.

    Port­land Pipe Line Cor­po­ra­tion appealed to the First Cir­cuit Court of Appeals the Maine fed­er­al dis­trict court’s deci­sion that reject­ed its pre­emp­tion argu­ment. The ami­cus brief sup­port­ed the Dis­trict Court’s pre­emp­tion analy­sis, while also not­ing that the ordi­nance is a law­ful exer­cise of the City’s police pow­ers that com­ports with the Constitution’s com­merce clause.

  • Jan­u­ary 2020

    In Jan­u­ary 2020, the First Cir­cuit moved the lit­i­ga­tion to state court to answer ques­tions of state law pre­emp­tion doc­trine and statu­to­ry inter­pre­ta­tion that may resolve Port­land Pipe Line Corporation’s chal­lenge with­out hav­ing to make a deter­mi­na­tion as to the con­sti­tu­tion­al­i­ty of South Portland’s ordinance.

  • Octo­ber 2020

    In Octo­ber 2020, the Maine Supreme Judi­cial Court issued an opin­ion answer­ing the ques­tions asked by the First Cir­cuit, find­ing that the local ordi­nance is not pre­empt­ed under Maine law.