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UPDATE: Northeast Texas landowner vows to continue fight against Keystone

From Staff Reports
Aug. 22, 2012 at 11 p.m.

A Northeast Texas landowner is vowing to fight on despite a county judge's ruling that a Canadian company can run a pipeline across her private property to bring crude oil to Gulf Coast refineries.

A Lamar County judge ruled late Wednesday that TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline has the right of eminent domain, rejecting a plea by farm manager Julia Trigg Crawford and dealing a blow to landowners and environmentalists who have been trying to block construction of the pipeline.

"We may have lost this one battle here in Paris, Texas, but we are far from done," Crawford said in a prepared statement. "I will continue to proudly stand up for my own personal rights, the property rights of my family, and those of other Texans fighting to protect their land."

Court-at-Law Judge Bill Harris' ruling against Crawford allows TransCanada, builder and owner of the pipeline that brings oil sands from Alberta, Canada to Cushing, Okla., its hard-fought entry to Texas and its Gulf Coast refineries.

Supporters of completing the line hail TransCanada as a job-maker and see the pipeline as an opportunity to buy oil from a friendly nation.

TransCanada's spokesman was not available late Wednesday.

Crawford vowed to keep pressing for stronger accountability from companies that claim the "common carrier" status to take advantage of eminent domain, which is the right to take land.

"It's absolutely unbelievable to me eminent domain abuse continues in Texas," Crawford wrote in an email. "Fortunately, the dialogue in Austin has already begun."



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