Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

The Farmer vs. the Pipeline, Round 4: Restraining Order Lost Again

Photo by Flickr user Stuck in Customs/Creative Commons

Pipeline companies are finding themselves with a new obstacle: defenders of private property rights.

Once again, the farmer fighting the Keystone XL pipeline has had her restraining order against the company behind the pipeline dissolved. You can read the ruling by the Sixth Court of Appeals in Texarkana, below.

If you’re confused (and who could blame you), here’s the timeline: a few weeks ago, Crawford got a temporary restraining order against TransCanada, the company behind the pipeline, which would have prevented the company from starting construction on her land. But that restraining order was later dissolved by the courts on Feb. 24, and the company announced it intended to go ahead and start construction on a southern portion of the pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to Port Arthur, Texas. Then last Friday, an appeals court reinstated the restraining order after an appeal by Crawford, preventing construction from taking place. But today it’s been dissolved yet again.

The court says in the new decision that they had reinstated the restraining order “in an abundance of caution” and now that they’ve had time to review the appeal, they believe the it should be dissolved.

Crawford says she’ll continue to appeal and seek a restraining order against the pipeline. “We may have lost the temporary restraining order, but we are very much still in this game,” she says.

A court date to separately appeal TransCanada’s use of eminent domain to route the Keystone XL pipeline across her land is scheduled for April 30th.

TransCanada was not available for comment.

Update: TransCanada has responded, saying that Crawford’s “legal activity is really about getting more compensation for a pipeline easement. TransCanada works very hard to reach voluntary compensation agreements with landowners when our pipelines cross their land. The Crawford matter is no exception.”

Read the new denial of the restraining order:


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