Texas landowners challenge TransCanada

Sept. 13, 2012 at 7:55 AM
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BEAUMONT, Texas, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- In a challenge against a leg of Keystone XL, Canadian pipeline TransCanada told a Texas judge that state laws were drafted in favor of energy developers.

Terry Wood, lawyer for Texas Rice Land Partners, told a Texas judge he was concerned TransCanada might start pipeline construction before legal authorities explored eminent-domain laws.

"I am concerned that the rights of landowners not be trampled unless there's clear statutory authority to do so," he was quoted by Bloomberg News as saying.

Tom Zabel, a lawyer representing TransCanada, said Texas laws drafted more than 100 years ago suggest the company can move forward with construction of the Gulf Coast Project through Beaumont, Texas.

"The Texas legislature came up with this scheme because it wanted to encourage oil and gas exploitation and you can't have oil and gas without pipelines," he was quoted as saying.

A decision on the case is expected Sept. 24.

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.

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