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Keystone XL Gets Eminent Domain Rights in Texas, Tries Another Nebraska Reroute

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, 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.


  1. Douglas Wiken 2012.09.07

    And how many rivers does XL cross in South Dakota?

    It hits the northern edge of the Ogallala Aquifer in South Dakota just south of Winner, SD and Colome, SD. Polluting the aquifer here would pretty much mean the end of these communities. Good water here is a real asset.

    I am not yet sure of the statistics, but Bloomberg News indicated TransCanada's real goal was to increase gasoline prices in the central US by ten to twenty cents per gallon. Apparently about 20,000 gallons of gasoline are sold per day in SD or probably something over 7 million gallons per year. A 10 cent increase would suck out another $730,000 out of SD gasoline buyers. A 20 cent increase would suck out about $1.4 Million. I am not sure how that compares with the annual property taxes counties hope to get or with what they might actually get, but suspect it puts a dent in that.

  2. larry kurtz 2012.09.07

    Anyone know whether county commissions like the Crook County Wyoming board can apply local control to prevent the virtual destruction of roads and bridges to transportation equipment?

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