Saturday, February 05, 2005

Delaware's Coastal Zone Law and Interstate Commerce

A recent ruling under the Delaware Coastal Zone Act to refuse to grant permission to build a liquified natural gas delivery point on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River may hinge upon revisiting the Interstate Commerce Clause of the US Constitution.

Or it could reveal a desire by the federal government to grab control over the ability to make determinations on where liquified natural gas distribution points are located. Such a ruling could be a taking, by the federal government, of control over this controversial topic. And a slippage of state power to the federal government.

The Wilmington News Journal reports on the subject in their article, BP ruling may set stage for battle. This quote from the article is interesting:
"I'm not happy about the decision. I'm resentful of Delaware imposing its very narrow Coastal Zone Act and impacting what is very clearly a New Jersey issue," Burzichelli, a Democrat, said. "Based on a William Penn Border of 250 years ago, we're stymied from introducing new technology in the region to answer energy issues."
The border between the States is on the New Jersey shoreline rather than in the deepest part of the channel between New Jersey and Delaware, and the strict development requirements of the Delaware law does permit Delaware a great amount of power over what gets developed on New Jersey's coastline.

I can't say that I'm upset with the result as it stands now, though.

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