Wednesday, February 27, 2013

XL :Big Oil vs Property Rights. What's a conservative to do?

The current debate over the building of the controversial Keystone KL pipeline has pitted conservatives against themselves as Big Oil takes advantage of eminent domain applications to acquire Texan's property. There is still one holdout and it will be interesting to see how Texas' conservative courts will present their attempt to trash the property rights of fellow Texans.

From The Texas Tribune

The 485-mile Oklahoma-to-Texas leg of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline is about half done, a TransCanada official told The Texas Tribune on Tuesday.

Despite these advances, TransCanada is still waiting on federal approval before building a segment of the pipeline farther north. TransCanada hopes to eventually pipe oil from the Canadian province of Alberta to Texas. But because that pipeline would cross a border, it requires presidential approval. President Obama rejected the company's bid for a permit in early 2012, but TransCanada has reapplied.

Along the Oklahoma-Texas stretch, TransCanada dealt with 1,200 landowners and needed to exercise powers of eminent domain to obtain an easement in 53 instances, TransCanada officials said.
The company has obtained all but one of parcel of land, in Jefferson County, where a group called Texas Rice Land Partners has objected.

A judge ruled for the company, but the rice group appealed. According to the South Texas Legal Record, oral arguments in that case are scheduled for March 7.
Activists say that regardless of the final fate of the Keystone pipeline, they will be around to protest further pipelines bringing tar sands for refining.
“A long as tar sands [oil] is being extracted and refined, we’re going to be there,” Cagle said.

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