Lamar County landowner appeals TransCanada pipeline


GREENVILLE, Texas - On Tuesday both TransCanada and those representing the Crawford family argued whether the company has eminent domain rights for the land used for the pipeline.

TransCanada maintains that people have public access to the pipeline.

"It's open for anyone to do business on our pipeline, we welcome business to our pipe." said TransCanada Media Relations Michael Barnes.

But the Crawford family takes a different view on the pipeline being built from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico.

"If you can't comply with all the provisions necessary then you don't have an eminent domain right." said Crawford's attorney Wendi Hammond. "You can still build it, you can still be a common carrier, but you don't get to take people's land for it, you actually have to get their agreement."

TransCanada argues that the creation of thousands of jobs gives them the right of eminent domain, but President Obama recently said that the permanent jobs would be closer to 100 when construction is complete.

Transcanada says the pipeline is nearly 90-percent complete.

"While the court case is going on the pipeline is almost finished and we hope to have it in service by this fall." said Barnes.

The case reached this point in the appeals process when last August a Lamar County judge ruled in favor of TransCanada, but Julia Crawford continues to argue that the pipeline violates her property rights and the project could harm Indian artifacts on her land.

"A person's land is precious, no one should be able to come in and take your land unless they have met every provision to do so." said Crawford.

Crawford says this fight now means much more.

"it's not just the Crawford land anymore, it's this," as she holds up her American flag wristband.

Justices will now deliberate the arguments. No timetable is set on when a decision will be handed down.


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