- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
Eminent Domain?While Congress debates the Keystone XL pipeline in D.C. and in the media, the company trying to build it, TransCanada Corp., is involved in a fierce legal battle with a Texan family concerning eminent domain laws. Lawyers from the Calgary-based energy company and the Crawford Family Farm, in northeastern Texas, are meeting in court to determine whether to approve the company's petition to condemn the Crawford’s property. If judgment is made in the company’s favor, under current eminent domain laws, Julia Trigg Crawford could lose some of her 600 acres to TransCanada so that they may begin trenching it for their Keystone pipeline.
Upon asking for a standstill order while in negotiation on her eminent domain case, TransCanada's representatives argued against Crawford’s request saying they wanted the right to start trenching on her property as early as March 1st. On Monday, Feb. 13th, Ms. Crawford obtained a restraining order against TransCanada to protect her property. Within 24 hours, TransCanada in turn filed for the restraining order to be dissolved.
This morning, Crawford obtained a court order to block TransCanada from crossing the farm. Lamar County Court-at-Law Judge Bill Harris ordered TransCanada representatives and those of The Crawford Family Farm Partnership to appear before him Feb. 24 to show why Harris shouldn't extend the order against TransCanada.
TransCanada, despite the denial of a permit by President Obama, continues to pressure landowners and execute eminent domain condemnation proceedings. The Keystone XL pipeline would carry tar sands crude close to 2,000 miles zigzagging north to south through six states, including Texas. In Texas, the pipeline crosses eighteen counties, including Lamar, on its way to the refineries along the Texas coast in Port Arthur. A major concern, besides eminent domain, for Red River and Bowie County citizens would be the pipelines crossing of the Sulphur River basin, the area’s top source of water.