As Congressional Republicans and their Big Oil allies continue to try to resuscitate the massive Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, landowners and activists are locking arms to fight pipeline builder TransCanada over eminent domain cases that could determine new routes where construction of the 1,700-mile project will be attempted. (For details and background, the Natural Resources Defense Council compiled an extensive document making clear how problematic the project really is.)
TransCanada has used eminent domain to acquire a number of tracts, but critics of the company are challenging that authority, citing a 2011 Texas Supreme Court decision that makes it harder for pipelines to meet the definition of a common carrier.
Last Friday, protesters gathered in Paris, Texas to support Lamar County farm manager Julia Trigg Crawford’s eminent domain court fight with TransCanada, which is proposing to run the Keystone XL pipeline through her 600-acre family farm along the Red River near Paris. Crawford says the pipeline threatens Bois d’Arc Creek, which flows through the Northeast Texas region, as well as Native American archaeological remains. “My hope is that our state leaders will see that their landowners are being bullied,” Crawford told the Kansas City Star-Telegram last week.
The protest included an unusual, and encouraging, mix of tea party supporters, independents, Democrats, Republicans and Occupy Dallas protesters, as this video shows.