Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Texas Supreme Court Favors Landowner Over TransCanada in Keystone XL Eminent Domain Case

Energy
Texas Supreme Court Favors Landowner Over TransCanada in Keystone XL Eminent Domain Case

The Texas Supreme Court ruled in favor of landowner Julia Trigg Crawford, ordering TransCanada to submit information by Feb. 6 as the justices weigh arguments to hear the case regarding eminent domain abuse.

The controversial clause of eminent domain benefits oil and gas companies trying to seize private land to extract or transport fossil fuels. Photo credit: Tar Sands Blockade

Texas’s highest court delivered a clear victory for pipeline opponents and landowners fighting TransCanada’s overreach on property rights. At the heart of Crawford’s case is the ability of TransCanada, a foreign corporation, to use eminent domain under the state’s “common carrier” clause since their pipeline transports 90 percent Canadian tar sands and 10 percent North Dakota oil. There is no on ramp for Texas oil therefore violating the definition of a common carrier under Texas law.

Crawford said she looks forward to her family’s day in court, “As a landowner, property rights are key to my livelihood and family legacy. A foreign corporation pumping foreign oil simply does not qualify as a common carrier under Texas law. TransCanada does not get to write their own rules. I look forward to the Supreme Court hearing our case and our plea to protect the fundamental rights of property owners.”

The ruling on Wednesday from the Texas Supreme Court means that Crawford will be able to take the next step in the appeals process against TransCanada. The southern segment of the Keystone XL pipeline, also known as Gulf Coast Segment, stretches from Cushing, OK, to Beaumont, TX, and carries tar sands or dilbit which is a combination of tar sands and chemicals that react very differently when spills occur than traditional Texas oil.

“We’re thrilled, because the Supreme Court has finally ruled in favor of us—the little guys—and against a foreign oil giant,” Julia Trigg Crawford continued. “Basically, TransCanada said that it wanted a waiver from responding to our petition, and the Supreme Court said, ‘No, you must respond’.”

Crawford says her case has broad implications, because if she wins, TransCanada and other foreign oil companies will no longer be able to use eminent domain to seize land for their private profit without direct proof their pipeline is carrying Texan oil.

Visit EcoWatch’s KEYSTONE XL and TAR SANDS  pages for more related news on this topic.

Coast Guard members work to clean an oil spill impacting Delaware beaches. U.S. Coast Guard District 5

Environmental officials and members of the U.S. Coast Guard are racing to clean up a mysterious oil spill that has spread to 11 miles of Delaware coastline.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

What happened to all that plastic you've put in the recycling bin over the years? Halfpoint / Getty Images

By Dr. Kate Raynes-Goldie

Of all the plastic we've ever produced, only 9% has been recycled. So what happened to all that plastic you've put in the recycling bin over the years?

Read More Show Less

Trending

Plain Naturals offers a wide variety of CBD products including oils, creams and gummies.

Plain Naturals is making waves in the CBD space with a new product line for retail customers looking for high potency CBD products at industry-low prices.

Read More Show Less
Donald Trump and Joe Biden arrive onstage for the final presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, on Oct. 22, 2020. JIM WATSON / AFP via Getty Images

Towards the end of the final presidential debate of the 2020 election season, the moderator asked both candidates how they would address both the climate crisis and job growth, leading to a nearly 12-minute discussion where Donald Trump did not acknowledge that the climate is changing and Joe Biden called the climate crisis an existential threat.

Read More Show Less
What will happen to all these batteries once they wear out? Ronny Hartmann / AFP / Getty Images

By Zheng Chen and Darren H. S. Tan

As concern mounts over the impacts of climate change, many experts are calling for greater use of electricity as a substitute for fossil fuels. Powered by advancements in battery technology, the number of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles on U.S. roads is increasing. And utilities are generating a growing share of their power from renewable fuels, supported by large-scale battery storage systems.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch