The League of Independent Voters of Texas is holding a statewide conference call next Saturday (January 25 at 10 am) to discuss efforts to bring the issues of eminent domain abuse, public safety and protection of waterways into the 2014 state election cycle debates.
If you want to join the call, please reply to this message — we’ll send you details.
REMEMBER PLEASE! — TEXAS residents, if you haven’t yet, SIGN THIS ONLINE LETTER TO ATTORNEY GENERAL GREG ABBOTT:
Letter to Attorney General Greg Abbott:
Public Citizen just sent out a similar online letter to their supporters AND this letter to the Attorney General. The letter explains more precisely what the safety inspection (or lack thereof) issues are.
In addition, TransCanada is telling emergency response personnel in rural areas that it’s just “crude” coming through the line. This is deceptive and dangerous. Go to this site: http://www.tarsandsprotectionleague.org/ to see why.
The online letters are flying into the AG’s office but we NEED MORE! PLEASE HELP!
Hope to “see” you all next Saturday at 10 am via conference call.
This release was sent to statewide media. Please consider writing a letter to the editor about this of your local newspaper.
This Letter to Attorney General Greg Abbott from Public Citizen provides more details as to the safety issues.
Lots of background information and maps about how East Texas is affected are here: TexasPipelineWatch.org.
Even the bovines and equines get it —
No Eminent Domain for Private Gain!
This media release just went out to over 1,000 media outlets throughout Texas about Julia Trigg Crawford’s important appeal to the Texas Supreme Court. Please share this as you wish by sharing this from our web blog or just copy it and paste it into an email.
We will be back in touch real soon with our plans for the new year!
For Immediate Release: Jan. 8, 2014
Contact: Julia Trigg Crawford, 713-443-8789
Texas’s Highest Court Favors Texas Landowner
Over Foreign Pipeline Giant TransCanada
AUSTIN, TX – The Texas Supreme Court ruled in favor of landowner Julia Trigg Crawford, ordering TransCanada to submit information by Feb. 6 as the justices weigh arguments to hear the case regarding eminent domain abuse.
Texas’s highest court delivered a clear victory for pipeline opponents and landowners fighting TransCanada’s overreach on property rights. At the heart of Crawford’s case is the ability of TransCanada, a foreign corporation, to use eminent domain under the state’s “common carrier” clause since their pipeline transports 90% Canadian tarsands and 10% North Dakota oil. There is no on ramp for Texas oil therefore violating the definition of a common carrier under Texas law.
Crawford said she looks forward to her family’s day in court, “As a landowner, property rights are key to my livelihood and family legacy. A foreign corporation pumping foreign oil simply does not qualify as a common carrier under Texas law. TransCanada does not get to write their own rules. I look forward to the Supreme Court hearing our case and our plea to protect the fundamental rights of property owners.”
The ruling on Wednesday from the Texas Supreme Court means that Crawford will be able to take the next step in the appeals process against TransCanada. The southern segment, also known as Gulf Coast Segment, stretches from Cushing, Oklahoma to Beaumont, Texas and carries tarsands or dilbit which is a combination of tarsands and chemicals that react very differently than conventional Texas oil when spills occur.
“We’re thrilled, because the a court has finally ruled in favor of us – the little guys – and against a foreign oil giant,” Julia Trigg Crawford continued. “Basically, TransCanada said that it wanted a waiver from responding to our petition, and the Supreme Court said, ‘No, you must respond’.”
Crawford says her case has broad implications, because if she wins, TransCanada and other foreign oil companies will no longer be able to use eminent domain to seize land for their private profit without direct proof their pipeline is carrying Texan oil.
TX Supreme Court Ruling: http://www.scribd.com/doc/197429631/Texas-Supreme-Court-Ruling-in-Favor-of-Landowner
Pictures of Julia Trigg Crawford: http://www.standtallwithjulia.com
Coming out of 9 East Texas hearings, the League of Independent Voters of Texas has prepared a report and is making a call to action in January!
On the weekend of January 11-12, in the small town of Paige (Bastrop County), the League is bringing in outside help to develop a revolutionary approach to regaining local control, in the anti-federalist spirit of Jefferson, Madison and Thomas Paine.
Click on this link, and come to Paige!
Texans are besieged with corporate interests using eminent domain for private gain, while state officials try to shift blame to the feds. That dog don’t hunt, guys, since you’re in charge in Texas.
* Forestar Real Estate Group’s rehearing last Monday for more groundwater from the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District resulted in no Board action until they review all the testimony. Wimberley’s Malcolm Harris, an expert attorney in water rights, turned a lot of heads with this testimony, as did Michele Gangnes’ (Neighbors for Neighbors) testimony here. Special thanks to Travis County residents, Roger Baker (Save Our Springs) and Dick Kallerman (Sierra Cub, Austin), for their supportive testimony. And, as always, Environmental Stewardship did the heavy lifting providing expert testimony for the record. ES received over $500 in donations at the hearing — thank y’all! If you still want to help, please send a tax-deductible donation to Environmental Stewardship, PO Box 1423, Bastrop, TX 78602.
* Terri Hall (Texas TURF) writes about private developers seizing Terrell Graham’s property in the Texas Hill Country to discharge treated sewage. Click here and take action for Mr. Graham, who also reached out to us.
Again, click on this link about the East Texas hearings and what the plan is for Jan. 11-12.
Very Important Updates! Water, land, eminent domain and corporate personhood! See you soon, we hope!
Expect a full report soon — with an action request — from the League of Independent Voters on 7 of the 9 recent East Texas hearings on eminent domain, public safety and protection of waterways. Meanwhile, please take a moment to read this release from NacStop.org, a group that’s been fighting for East Texas pipeline safety for three years.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
* This is a quick note to ask you to mark your calendars and get to Giddings this Monday for a critical hearing about the attempted groundwater grab by Forestar Real Estate Group. The Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District granted a last minute rehearing to Forestar. Meanwhile, as you may know, Forestar and Hays County Commissioner’s Court have formed an unholy alliance that is urging for a favorable opinion from Attorney General Greg Abbott to aid their water raid on the Simsboro formation of the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer mostly underlying Lee County. Come to this important hearing — wherever you live! No matter what happens, this is shaping up as ground zero for local water control and a issue in the Governor’s race.
Monday, December 16th, 6 pm Lost Pines Water Hearing!
American Legion, 1502 Hwy. 77, Giddings, TX map here.
* January 11-12, the League of Independent Voters of Texas will hold a two day affair about local control. There’s this national group, Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, that has worked with 150 communities so far to begin to overturn the 100 years of case law supporting “corporate personhood.” Corporate personhood, in CELDF’s view, forms the foundation of the “crony capitalism” that has begun to bring folks together across the partisan divide to protect our land and water. Can the CELDF model for local control help us continue to build a broad independent populist alliance in Texas? More details next week!
Reminder! The new independent voter association, the League of Independent Voters of Texas continues to hold hearings throughout East Texas on eminent domain abuses, public safety and protection of water resources related to three pipelines carrying hazardous substances (tar sands and its diluents, aka diluted bitumen) and a rail classification yard.
There are three hearings starting this Tuesday in Bryan, Wednesday in Tyler and Thursday in Beaumont. Click here to read about it and for times and locations and please consider becoming a member for just $20 for the year: https://independentleaguetx.org/ (Note: make sure you watch the CBS report on the faulty construction of the Keystone XL pipeline).
Bastrop and Lee countians! There is a meeting tomorrow night, Monday, December 2, 6:30 pm in Paige (Paige Community Center, 107 S. Main — at 20-) focused on protection of water resources now that Prop 6 has passed and there are additional challenges posed by 12 new fracking wells starting in Lee and Bastrop counties.
Check out this piece in today’s Dallas Morning News about rural counties’ fears (and how ’bout a little loathing) about water with a quote from Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape: http://www.indytexans.com/wp-content/uploads/Rural-Texas-counties-fear-cities’-thirst-after-water-fund-vote-Dallas-Morning-News.pdf