Texas Landowners Sue Over Keystone Oil Pipeline
Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) April 30, 2013 - Texas landowners are suing TransCanada Corp. over the Keystone XL Pipeline.
The landowners argue that TransCanada does not qualify as a common carrier and does not have the right to acquire their property through eminent domain to build the oil pipeline. The planned pipeline would transport Canadian tar-sands oil to refineries on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
“These cases involve two important interests in the state of Texas: oil and property rights,” said Gregory D. Jordan, a Texas oil and gas attorney.
The landowners argue that TransCanada is not a common carrier and cannot acquire property by condemnation. District Court Judge Tom Rugg ruled against one group of landowners in September, saying that the acquisition of the land is constitutional and the pipeline can proceed. The landowners are appealing to the Ninth Court of Appeals in Beaumont, Texas. Several similar cases are making their way through the Texas courts.
The landowners are attempting to build on a landmark 2011 ruling from the Texas Supreme Court in the case of Texas Rice Land Partners Ltd. v. Denbury Green Pipeline-Texas LLC, which made it more difficult for pipeline operators to claim common carrier status. The issue in that case was whether a pipeline was truly available for public use, or was intended for private use and was a common carrier in name only.
In the Denbury case, the Denbury Green pipeline company had attempted to establish itself as a common carrier of carbon dioxide by indicating that status in an application to the Texas Railroad Commission. Texas Rice Land Partners refused to allow the company access to its land for surveying purposes, which led to the court battle. A lower court granted a motion for summary judgment by Denbury Green, but the Texas Supreme Court reversed, stating that when a landowner challenges common-carrier status, the company must do more to prove that the pipeline is available for public use.
Austin oil and gas lawyer Jordan notes, “Many pipelines cross our great state, but Denbury has helped level the playing field for landowners who want to stop really 'private' pipelines from being built on their land.”
The Texas lawsuits are potentially the last hurdle keeping TransCanada from building the southern extension of the oil pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Texas coast. Another extension of the pipeline, from Alberta, Canada, to Steele City, Nebraska, has been delayed by environmental concerns and still needs U.S. government approval.
The Law Offices of Gregory D. Jordan has handled many business and employment disputes involving non-compete agreements, unfair competition, confidentiality agreements and breaches of contract. To learn more visit, http://www.theaustintriallawyer.com.
Law Offices of Gregory D. Jordan
5608 Parkcrest Drive, Suite 310
Austin, Texas 78731
Other Practice Areas offered by the Law Offices of Gregory D. Jordan:
- Texas drill pipe supplier files lawsuit against company alleging breach of contract
A breach of contract lawsuit was filed by a Houston, Texas drill pipe supplier against a North Dakota company. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas Aug. 31 by Vallourec Drilling Products USA Inc. (Vallourec) against B.J.’s Drill Stem Testing, Inc. d/b/a Drill Tech LLC (Drill Tech). [...]
- Texas drilling company sued for employment discrimination
A lawsuit has been filed accusing a Texas drilling company of racial discrimination. Andrew Collins filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, alleging that Noble Drilling violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Collins, an African American resident of Harris County, claims that he was subjected [...]
- Texas Appeals Court rules against lessee in offset well dispute
The Fourth Court of Appeals in San Antonio, Texas found that a lessee had failed to prove that it had drilled an offset well as required by oil and gas leases. In the case, Shirley Adams et al. v. Murphy Exploration & Production Co.-USA, the lessors and royalty owners sued lessee Murphy for breach of [...]
See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: Austin business attorney, Austin business lawyer, Austin business litigation attorney, Austin business litigation lawyer, austin employment attorney, austin employment lawyer, Austin oil and gas attorney, Austin oil and gas lawyer, Texas oil and gas attorney, Texas oil and gas lawyer