Tuesday, May 8, 2012

TransCanada's legal shenanigans highlighted

Don't miss this story in today's New York Times, dateline Sumner, Texas.  TransCanada used eminent domain to seek and obtain a right of way for its Keystone XL pipeline over the 600-acre farm owned by Julia Trigg Crawford and her family, who had initially refused to bargain with the company.  Now Crawford is fighting to overturn the court's decision to condemn her land for this purpose.  Saul Elbein reports for the Times:
The Crawfords' condemnation hearing happened in front of a  district judge.  They were not invited to that hearing--landowners in Texas do not get to go to the actual condemnation hearing.  They are invited only to the next step, after the condemnation, when a three-person panel of county landowners decides on a value for the property being condemned.  
Crawford is concerned about contamination of Bois D'Arc Creek, to which she and her family own water rights. Her farm insurance agent won't sell her insurance against spills, and she notes that Keystone 1, the first TransCanada pipeline, experienced numerous spills during its first year of operation.

Sumner is on the Texas-Oklahoma state line in nonmetropolitan Lamar County, Texas, which has a population of just under 50,000.

Read other posts about the Keystone XL here and here, along with this story about how TransCanada has negotiated the regulatory terrain in Washington DC.  Here's a link to a conservative blog post about TransCanada's tactics regarding eminent domain.

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