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.
If you live in East Texas, pay close attention and if you know folks who live there, send them this message posted here.
Citizens in 6 cities (Cleveland, Big Sandy, Fairfield, Bryan-College Station, Tyler and Beaumont) are holding their own hearings in East Texas — starting on Tuesday! See below.
A national CBS News report last Tuesday exposed the faulty construction problems identified months ago by East Texas landowners with the Keystone XL pipeline. Keystone XL (owned by TransCanada) is slated to start any day now pushing toxic diluted bitumen (aka tar sands) over hundreds of waterways and across the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer that serves 10-12 million people:
An in-depth Special Report of Keystone XL’s problem was released by Public Citizen click here.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Texas House Speaker Joe Straus were warned about the problems by a cross-partisan coalition (in this letter from Debra Medina, Julia Trigg Crawford and Jim Hightower) last June. They were asked to do an interim study and public hearings. The Lt. Governor’s office said he was “too busy” and Speaker Straus has been mute.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS! Independent Texans will hold a meeting on Monday, December 2nd, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, at the Paige Community Center at 107 S. Main (at 290) in Paige, Texas.. We have some important updates to share on the water front and this meeting is just one week from the filing deadline for candidates to run in 2014. Please come!
We can change election outcomes next November if we organize now, folks!
The hearings below are being sponsored by a new non-profit independent organization called the League of Independent Voter of Texas. We’ll tell you more about it real soon!
- Tues., Nov. 19th, 6:30-8:30 pm, Cleveland, TX, Beulah Land Baptist Church (Rev. Aubrey Vaughan is host), 464 County Road 2184. Speakers: Debra Medina (We Texans), Jim Williams (Public Citizen), Linda Curtis as facilitator (League of Independent Voters). Relevant pipelines: Keystone XL & Pegasus.
- Wed., Nov. 20, 6:30-8:30 pm, Big Sandy, TX, Big Sandy Community Center, 207 Gilmer Street, Big Sandy. Speakers: Julia Trigg Crawford (Lamar County farmer), Jessica Ellison (local family farm), Emily Harris (Mayflower, AR first responder by video or in person), Linda Curtis (facilitator).
- Thurs., Nov. 21, 7:00-9:00 pm, Fairfield, TX, VFW Hall, 198 VFW Road, Fairfield, TX. Speakers: Medina, Smitty and Harris (in person or video), Linda Curtis, facilitator. Relevant pipelines: Pegasus and Seaway.
- Tues., Dec. 3, 6:30-8:30 pm, Bryan-College Station TX, Best Western Premier Old Town Center, 1920 Austins Colony Pkwy, Bryan, TX, Speakers: Smitty (Public Citizen), Harris (video or in person), Kathleen Hubbard (Brazos River Bottom Alliance), Linda Curtis, facilitator. Relevant pipeline & issues: Seaway & railway station in Brazos Valley. Additional speakers likely.
- Wed., Dec. 4, 6:30-8:30 pm, Tyler, TX Rose Garden Center, 420 Rose Park Drive, Tyler, TX. Speakers: Calvin Tilman, Smitty (Public Citizen), Curtis, facilitator. Additional speakers likely. Relevant pipelines: Keystone XL, Pegasus.
- Thurs., Dec. 5, 6:30-8:30 pm, Beaumont, TX, Knights of Columbus Hall, 9505 College, Beaumont, TX. Speakers: Smitty (Public Citizen), Isom Ramsey (local resident), Mike Hathorn, Cherokee County landowner, Linda Curtis, facilitator. Relevant pipelines: Pegasus, Seaway, CrossTex (eminent domain abuse). Additional speakers likely.
These hearings are sponsored by a new non-profit organization — the League of Independent Voters of Texas
PO Box 651 * Bastrop, TX 78602 * 512-213-4511
The Prop 6 stench is getting increasingly gross. It’s also getting weirder.
It was revealed today that Water Texas PAC will spend $2M for the $2B Perry crony water slush fund aka Prop 6.
Talk about stench — TransCanada even bellied up to the Prop 6 slop trough. They’re the ones who are taking Texans’ land against their will through eminent domain so they can pump toxic sludge — diluted bitumen (aka tar sands) — over hundreds of Texas water ways!
Check out the Texans for Public Justice analysis of Water Texas PAC “Will $2M Water PAC Spawn a Perry Slush Fund?”: http://info.tpj.org/Lobby_Watch/pdf/WaterTexasSlushFund.pdf
A special thanks to Rep. David Simpson for continuing to work to defeat Prop 6. See his op-ed in the Houston Chronicle today: http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/Simpson-New-financing-methods-won-t-solve-water-4940562.php
We were remiss in not publishing Debra Medina’s op-ed (opposite none other than the Governor himself) in the Tribune last week: http://www.texastribune.org/2013/10/22/guest-column-vote-no-prop-6/
And, Greg Harmon’s op-ed in today’s Star-Telegram and the Ft. Worth Weekly gives some new terrific insights on Prop 6 and conservation: http://www.fwweekly.com/2013/10/30/prop-6/
If you’re on Facebook, be sure to like the Nix Prop 6 page and then use the “invite” button to ask your friends to like the page and keep it going: https://www.facebook.com/notoprop6
We’re getting calls from across Texas!
Keep it up Texas!