Whitewright landowner's fight weakens as Seaway Pipeline construction begins

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WHITEWRIGHT, TEXAS -- They came in the early morning and stayed through the afternoon.

"Very sad today. Very angry, sad, hurt," Jim Hebert said.

Landowner and Vietnam veteran Jim Hebert walked over the wood cut from 100-year-old trees, saying this construction, to clear the way for the Seaway Pipeline, is tragic.

"Because they were cutting down more trees than what I thought," Hebert said.

Hebert has been representing himself in a legal battle with Enterprise Products Partners, the company behind the pipeline, that will stretch from Cushing, Oklahoma to the gulf.

"These people from Canada are cheating Texans; cheating and defrauding them out of their land," Hebert said.

The company wants five of Hebert's 82 acres south of Highway 11. Hebert says the land is worth $150,000, much more than the company offered.

"They compared this to raw land. Well, you can see it's raw now. They done stripped everything," Hebert said.

Hebert ultimately rejected and appealed a $41,000 settlement, to which Judge Rim Nall said Hebert's argument "lacks legal merit."

Pipeline spokesman Rick Rainey says, "The offer we made was a fair one and the courts agreed with how we proceeded."

Hebert says he'll continue to fight.

"I don't want my children's children or my brother or my grandfather or my dad going through this. This has to stop," Hebert said.

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