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TransCanada unfazed by Texas lawsuit

Dec. 12, 2012 at 7:43 AM

HOUSTON, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- A landowner lawsuit in Texas regarding the U.S. leg of the Keystone XL pipeline does nothing to affect the scheduled start, a TransCanada spokesman said.

TransCanada confirmed that a temporary restraining order was issued for a landowner that prohibits pipeline construction on his property in eastern Texas.

A judge in Nacogdoches County ruled in favor of Michael Bishop, who said TransCanada was misleading when it negotiated an agreement to build part of the so-called Gulf Coast Project through his land.

Bishop argued that TransCanada said crude oil was designated for the project, a U.S. leg designed to carry tar sands oil from Canada. He argued those types of crude aren't the same, reports the Houston Chronicle.

TransCanada spokesman Shawn Howard said an expedited hearing was scheduled Thursday on the issue. He said the company has been "open, honest and transparent" with Bishop during negotiations.

TransCanada in July received the last of three permits needed from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to advance its 485-mile Gulf Coast Project. The project represents the domestic leg of the Keystone XL oil pipeline project.

The Gulf Coast Project will stretch from Cushing, Okla., to southern Texas. Another 47-mile project would transport oil to refineries in Houston.

Members of Tar Sands Blockade greeted pipeline construction in Texas with opposition. The type of oil designated for the project is viewed as an environmental threat.

"Bishop's request does not impact overall construction and we are on track to bring this pipeline into operation in late 2013," said Howard.

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