TransCanada asks top Texas court to reject Julia Trigg Crawford’s call for review of the company’s right to use eminent domain statutes to force the Keystone pipeline through her property

TransCanada asks top Texas court to reject farmer’s call for Keystone pipeline review by Laurel Brubaker Calkins, February 7, 2014, Bloomberg News
Julia Trigg Crawford has asked the state high court to review two lower-court decisions giving TransCanada the right to use eminent-domain statutes to install its 2,151-mile Canadian tar-sands pipeline across property her family has farmed for generations in northeastern Texas.  Julia Trigg Crawford has asked the state high court to review two lower-court decisions giving TransCanada the right to use eminent-domain statutes to install its 2,151-mile Canadian tar-sands pipeline across property her family has farmed for generations in northeastern Texas.

TransCanada Corp. asked the Texas Supreme Court to reject a farmer’s request to review condemnation rulings allowing the Keystone XL pipeline to cross her land against her will. Julia Trigg Crawford has asked the state high court to review two lower-court decisions giving TransCanada the right to use eminent-domain statutes to install its 2,151-mile Canadian oil-sands pipeline across property her family has farmed for generations in northeastern Texas. Crawford claims that TransCanada, a foreign company transporting oil produced out of state, doesn’t qualify as a common-carrier under state law and isn’t entitled to condemn her land for private use. The lower courts agreed with the company that it did qualify.

“Crawford’s issues fly in the face of the Legislature’s active encouragement of a common carrier pipeline system throughout Texas, not only to transport Texas production, but also to bring critical feedstock into Texas to fuel Texas refineries,” Tom Zabel, TransCanada’s lawyer, said in a filing urging the court to reject her challenge. Crawford is one of a handful of Texas farmers fighting TransCanada’s use of eminent domain under various legal theories, which has sparked a statewide debate over property rights. None of the challengers has prevailed so far, and Crawford’s case is the second to reach the Texas Supreme Court. TransCanada initially said in court filings that it didn’t think a formal answer to Crawford’s request for review was required. The company’s filing at the high court in Austin yesterday came after the justices expressed interest in hearing the landowner’s case. The case is The Crawford Family Farm Partnership v. TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, 13-0886, Supreme Court of Texas. [Emphasis added]

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