Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

Keystone XL Company Goes to Court Against Farmer

Map by the Department of State

Where the Keystone XL pipeline would go through Texas.

Tomorrow morning in Paris, Texas, the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline is facing a farmer in court.

At issue? As we reported earlier this week, the company, TransCanada, wants to route the pipeline through the farmer’s land. The farmer, Julia Trigg Crawford, refused.

Crawford’s farm is in Lamar County northeast of Dallas. She says she looked into some environmental issues with the pipeline and how it would go through her farm and decided she wasn’t on board. “One of my first concerns was, to go the path they had planned, they had to horizontally drill under the creek that I have water rights to,” Crawford told StateImpact Texas. “So, I didn’t exactly want this sludge being pumped underneath the creek.” Crawford also said that if the pipeline was buried underneath her property it could create a “vegetative dead zone” for her crops, because the temperature of the line can get up to 140 degrees, she said.

After repeatedly refusing to sign an agreement with TransCanada, the company filed for eminent domain last fall, and won the right to route the pipeline through Crawford’s farm. While eminent domain is typically used for public projects, in this case the private company argued that since the oil passing through the pipeline would ultimately be used by the public, then the pipeline itself was a public “common carrier” and not a private pipeline, even though it’s privately owned and operated.

As a last-ditch effort, Crawford filed and won a temporary restraining order in Lamar County preventing the company from going on her land earlier this week. TransCanada wasted no time in asking for that restraining order to be dissolved, and tomorrow morning both the company and Crawford will be in court to argue their case. We’ll be reporting more on this story tomorrow.

Read more:

This Land Was Your Land, Now It’s Our Land: Keystone XL and Eminent Domain

Pipeline Companies Fight for Right to Take Property

Where the Keystone XL Pipeline Would Go Through Texas

What is the Keystone XL Pipeline?


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