TransCanada goes ahead with pipeline legalities despite permission denial
18 February 2012
Though president Obama has denied a permit to the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline, the Canadian company is proceeding legally to force the cooperation of landowners who don't want the 1,660-mile structure run through their land.
The issue led to a noisy protest yesterday in Paris, Texas.
TransCanada has sought to dissolve a restraining order granted a week ago, saying it was within its rights to pursue eminent domain proceedings along the proposed pipeline route under existing state and federal laws - though it said it had no immediate construction plans.
The issue has served as a red rag for conservative tea party groups as also environmentalists opposed to tar sands oil production, as land owners want to keep the pipeline from crossing their holdings over concerns it could contaminate their water sources and damage Native American burial artifacts.
''Protect Texas landowners over foreign tar sands pipelines,'' read many of the signs outside the Lamar County Courthouse. More than 75 citizens - conservative property rights advocates, grey-haired landowners, environmental activists and even some Occupy protesters trooped into the small courtroom.
Landowners say they never got a chance to go to a judge and say they did not want to give their land for the pipeline, with one saying not only were the landowners being bullied as the company wanted the right to be able to start construction, even before it was granted a permit.