Last month a Texas judge made the same error a South Dakota judge did in 2008, ruling that TransCanada, a Canadian corporation, can seize American property through eminent domain. Judge Bill Harris of Lamar County in Texas ruled that the Keystone XL pipeline is a "common carrier," even though this pipeline belongs entirely to TransCanada and isn't open to any supplier of oil or other substances in the United States. To add insult to error, Judge Harris iPhoned in his terse 15-word ruling,Â offering no explanation of whatever legal thinking motivated his decision to cede your right to private property to a foreign corporation.
Meanwhile, a little closer to home, TransCanada has submitted a second revised route for Keystone XL over the Ogallala Aquifer in Nebraska. Like the first reroute that Nebraska rejected earlier this year, the new bumps in the pipeline still grind through sensitive ecological areas and put our water at risk.
Just like coal, oil is on its way out. We're learning to do more with less; President Obama's fuel-efficiency policies will negate our need for more oil than Keystone XL would ever pump across our prairie. We should not tear up both American land rights and our land for a pipeline we don't need.