Hearing on Crawford v. TransCanada Continues this Friday!

Thanks to the many of you who moved so quickly to support Julia Trigg Crawford and family.  Their efforts to maintain a temporary restraining order on TransCanada’s trenching of their property in NE Texas for the Keystone XL pipeline, without any federal nor state approval, is still in place, but the hearing continues this Friday in Paris.

The hearing on the temporary restraining order continues this coming Friday, Feb. 24, Paris, Texas, 1:30 pm.  There will be no protest, but we hope some of you can help fill the courtroom of Lamar County Courthouse, 119 North Main- Paris, Texas.  We will listen and pray the court does the right thing.

Click on this link to sign the petition calling for state of Texas public hearings on eminent domain abuses related to TransCanada and then Facebook it to your Texas friends and family — or just forward this entire email to them with a note asking them to sign too.

Note:  A legal defense fund is getting established for the Crawford family.  Watch for those details as their full case comes to trial in April

Believe it or not, even after the Judge asked that this case not be politicized, TransCanada attorneys started reading a letter into the record signed by Gov. Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchison urging the court to lift the temporary restraining order.  The Judge stopped them stating that he wanted to hear the legal arguments.

There was an avalanche of coverage and though we assume you’ve seen much of it, check out the links below, including an article in today’s Ft. Worth Star-Telegram.

OUR CONCERNS:

Independent Texans has concerns about the rights of property owners related to the claims by TransCanada that they are a “common carrier.”  Common carrier status gives them to right to use eminent domain to seize private property against a landowner’s will.  Last August, the Texas Supreme Court rendered their becoming infamous “Denbury” decision.  Industry firms are marshaling their resources to get the Texas Supreme Court revisit their opinion, despite the fact that it was unanimous.  Here is what a pro-industry law firm, Jones Walker, says about the Denbury decision:

It is clear that pipeline companies must do more than simply check the common-carrier box on their Form T-4. Because the burden shifts to the pipeline companies to prove their common-carrier status once it is challenged, they should ensure that there exists clear documentation establishing an expectation that customers unrelated to the pipeline company will utilize the planned pipeline. In other words, pipeline companies should make intentional efforts to document that the pipeline will, in fact, be used by third party customers transporting third party gas.  (read more here)

If the court rehears this case it will be unusual.  If they overturn it, Katy bar the door for another grassroots populist movement the likes of which haven’t been seen since Texans rose up to stop the Trans-Texas Corridor.

Here’s the hearing Transcript – Enjoy!  Crawford v. TransCanada Hearing Transcript 2-17-12

Here’s just some that press coverage we mentioned:

http://ecowatch.org/2012/tea-party-and-environmental-groups-tell-transcanada-dont-mess-with-texas-over-eminent-domain-claims/

http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2012/02/16/keystone-xl-company-goes-to-court-against-farmer/

http://thinkprogress.org/green/2012/02/17/427939/texan-tea-partiers-oppose-keystone-xl-land-grab/

http://www.kens5.com/news/Texas-property-owners-in-no-mans-land-139524073.html

http://www.ketr.org/post/judge-blocks-pipeline-passing-through-local-farm

http://www.kten.com/story/16964045/transcanada-claims-eminent-domain-landowners-fueled

http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-texas-pipeline-20120217,0,312823,full.story

http://www.news-journal.com/bowiecounty/news/citizens-to-form-texas-style-protest-of-keystone-pipeline-in/article_6f00cba3-f8ef-5193-a63b-de5c04a2c023.html

http://www.ntxe-news.com/artman/publish/article_74896.shtml

http://www.oilandgaslawyerblog.com/pipelines/

http://www.rollcall.com/issues/57_97/Keystone-Pipeline-Finds-New-Opponents-212467-1.html?pos=olobh

http://www.statesman.com/news/texas-politics/protesters-in-austin-try-to-clog-pipeline-proposal-2183469.html

http://www.texastribune.org/texas-energy/oil-and-natural-gas/keystone-pipeline-sparks-property-rights-backlash/

https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/02/16-3

http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/02/21/3752596/texas-becomes-a-battleground-in.html

http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/22/opinion/turner-keystone-pipeline/index.html

http://www.kutnews.org/post/texas-keystone-xl-opponents-look-day-court

 

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