Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

End of the Line Nears for Texas Landowner’s Fight Against Keystone XL

Landowner Julia Trigg Crawford on her family farm in Northeast Texas along the Oklahoma border.

Photo by Terrence Henry/StateImpact Texas

Landowner Julia Trigg Crawford on her family farm in Northeast Texas along the Oklahoma border.

A challenge to state law that allows private companies to take land for pipelines will not be heard by the Supreme Court of Texas. Julia Trigg Crawford, a Northeast Texas landowner has been fighting the controversial Keystone XL pipeline for several years. Crawford has lost several rounds and appeals in her case that argues her land had been illegally condemned through eminent domain by the pipeline company TransCanada.

As the case has made its way through the courts, TransCanada legally went ahead with construction and began operation of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline through Crawford’s land earlier this year.

“There is apparently a last ask we can make, to ask if the Supreme Court would reconsider their denial,” Crawford says. “But after that, there’s no other step in Texas court.”

Crawford was one of several landowners who clashed with TransCanada over its use of eminent domain to route the pipeline through private land. Many others signed agreements with the company to allow the pipeline on their property. Efforts to reform Texas law, which currently grants eminent domain authority to pipeline companies that simply check a box on a one-page form, fizzled in the most recent state legislature. With a denial of Crawford’s case before the state Supreme Court, it appears there won’t be a resolution to the issue from within the legal system anytime soon.


  • WebAntOnYouTube

    This is wrong. Why can’t this case be taken before the United States Supreme Court?

    • Chris Bowen

      The SCOTUS unfortunately already settled it in kilo.

  • Charles Stelding

    I thought our Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott was against “land grabbing”! Why doesn’t he do something about this?

    • Helivet

      Follow the money.

  • MzFitz

    the Nevada rancher thought he had backup?

  • illinoisboy1977

    She should take it to the United States Supreme Court. This case is different from the New London case. In that case, the home in question was in a blighted neighborhood. This woman’s property is rural land, which is not blighted. If there’s no way for her to challenge a private company’s imminent domain taking, she has a good shot at forcing a change in state law, on 5th Amendment grounds. She should at least be able to show that she deserves a judicial hearing on the matter.

    • YellowDog

      So it is OK to take land from poor people? What is “blighted land”?

      Were people living there?

  • Victor

    Crawford ought to marry a Native American and turn her land into tribal land.

  • Mark

    Where is the American outrage? Why are Republicans pimping our country out to a foreign oil company?

    • snoglydox

      Because it is not in their backyard, and they own stock.

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »