Keystone XL

Release: Citizens Hold Own Hearings, Snubbed by Dewhurst & Straus

Citizens in 6 Texas cities (Cleveland, Big Sandy, Fairfield, Bryan-College Station, Tyler and Beaumont) are holding their own informal public hearings, inviting local officials to join them, to highlight the problems with eminent domain abuse, pipeline safety and protection of waterways posed by plans to transport hazardous crude (aka diluted bitumen or tar sands) across hundreds of Texas waterways, including reservoirs that provide drinking water to citizens in Tarrant and Harris counties.

         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.

Julia Trigg Crawford, Lamar County farmer and one of the landowners organizing the Big Sandy hearing, said, “The Lt. Governor and House Speaker, who have the power to call for interim studies and public hearings, have been made aware of the many issues, not just by us but by fellow State Legislators, and they have chosen to blow us off. Therefore, we are holding our own hearings to inform the public and to begin pressuring our officials to prepare our communities for worst-case scenarios and to press on for the landowner protections so needed and so deserved.”

The citizen hearings come on the heels of a breaking national CBS News report just last Tuesday exposing the faulty construction problems identified months ago by East Texas landowners with the Keystone XL pipeline:

Watch this CBS News report:  http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57612046/new-warnings-of-potential-problems-with-keystone-pipeline/

         An in-depth Special Report of the problem was released by Public Citizen — click here

The southern leg of the Keystone XL (owned by TransCanada) is slated to start any day now pushing diluted bitumen (aka tar sands) over hundreds of waterways and across the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer that serves 10-12 million people. There are two other tar sands pipelines threatening waterways in East Texas. The Seaway, which traverses just east of the Dallas area, is a 37-year old line that is being repurposed and twinned to carry diluted bitumen. The Pegasus, a more than 60-year old line, was shut down in March due to a breach resulting in the evacuation of 22 homes in Mayflower, Arkansas. Several homes have had to be demolished. As well, a Union Pacific rail yard is being planned for the Brazos River bottom that, if carrying tar sands, poses additional risks to water and property rights of an important farming area.

Citizen Hearings – Eminent Domain, Public Safety and Protection of Waterways

  • Tues., Nov. 19th, 6:30-8:30 pm, Cleveland, TX, Beulah Land Baptist Church (Rev. Aubrey Vaughan is host), 464 County Road 2184, Cleveland, TX. Speakers:  Debra Medina (We Texans), Jim Williams (Public Citizen), Mike Hathorn, landowner Cherokee County, 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), Linda Curtis, facilitator. Relevant pipelines: Pegasus, Seaway, CrossTex (eminent domain abuse). Additional speakers likely.

Sponsored by the League of Independent Voters of Texas
PO Box 651 * Bastrop, TX 78602 * 512-213-4511
www.TexasPipelineWatch.org

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East Texas Citizen Hearings: Eminent Domain, Public Safety and Protection of Waterways

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:

Click here to watch this CBS News report. 

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
www.TexasPipelineWatch.org

 

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Prop 6 Stench — Gross and also Weird!

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!

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Nix Prop 6, We got in some licks! Bastrop/Lee/Hays Water War Escalates, East Texas Hearings!

Things are happening across Texas!  If they’re not happening where you are, we’ll help you make it happen.

Join us this Saturday, 9 a.m. on a statewide conference call if you want to help defeat Proposition 6, the “Water Heist Amendment” on the November ballot.  Just reply to this message.  We’ll send out the conference call line tomorrow or call us if you need to.

STATEWIDE NEWS

On Tuesday, Texas House Speaker Straus was with the big shots at the Dallas Chamber of Commerce touting Prop 6 to some of the state’s biggest water hogs.  The Speaker might be a little miffed at reporter, Gordon Dickson (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram), who decided to do a balanced piece on Prop 6. Yours truly got in some good licks! Check it out here:  http://www.indytexans.com/wp-content/uploads/Support-flows-opposition-simmers-for-water-funding-Local-Star-Telegram.com_.pdf

Did you know there are three pipelines carrying highly toxic substances across East Texas?  A new independent outfit — the League of Independent Voters of Texas — is working with landowners and residents to push for public hearings on eminent domain abuse, public safety and protection of water resources in connection with three pipelines (the Keystone XL, Pegasus and Seaway) carrying diluted bitumen (aka “tar sands”).  If you live in East Texas or want to help from wherever you are, sign in at the Texas Pipeline Watch website here: TexasPipelineWatch.org 

REGIONAL NEWS

The Hays County Commissioners Court, led by Hays County Judge Bert Cobb, pulled a fast one on Tuesday, getting into bed with Forestar Real Estate Group so they can — together — covet their neighbor’s water (Bastrop and Lee County). Cobb even had the temerity to proclaim that he’s for local control!  He must mean his local control over Lee and Bastrop counties’ water.  The 5-0 vote of the Commission was followed by a genuinely cowardly move to ask Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to cover their behinds with a ruling that they’re doing this legally.  Read it here:  http://www.indytexans.com/2013/09/26/hays-county-commission-covets-thy-neighbors-water-with-a-little-bit-of-help-from-their-tricky-friends-in-bastroplee-counties/ 

Meanwhile, we hope to see you lovely Hays County folks, regardless of your party affiliation or lack thereof, at the Hays Constitutional Republican meeting next Wednesday.  Michele Gangnes and I are coming down from Bastrop. We speak just after Republican primary candidate for Governor, Tom Pauken.

Hays Constitutional Republicans Meeting, Wednesday, October 2
Wimberley VFW Post 6551
401 Jacob’s Well Road
Curtis and Gangnes speak on Prop 6 at 7:30 pm (meeting starts at 6)

BASTROP & LEE COUNTY

Landowners lost a skirmish in the water war by being denied a voice in the proceedings by the State Office of Administrative Hearings Judge, who is presiding over the hearing for Aqua Water’s challenge to the  EndOp permit application for 56K acre-feet/year from the Simsboro aquifer.  Just understand that even if Aqua and EndOp settle, which some observers are predicting, it will then go back to the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District Board for their decision on the permit itself.  We thoroughly expect the good folks on the Lost Pines GCD to stand tall against EndOp, as they did with Forestar and LCRA. We — the people — need to continue to step up and organize to protect our water as we speak the truth about who is selling us out. We need to start naming names, Y’all.  We’re starting that real soon so pay attention!

“We have just begun to fight!”  John Paul Jones

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Appellate Court Decision Rules on Crawford Condemnation on Keystone XL Pipeline Family Vows to Move Case Up to Texas Supreme Court

Paris, Texas – Today the 6th Appellate Court ruled against the Crawford family in their condemnation case against TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline.  Despite the ruling, the family has decided to move their appeal up to the Texas Supreme Court.

“We certainly disagree with the Appellate Court’s ruling, and we fully intend to appeal this decision to the Texas Supreme Court,” commented Wendi Hammond, attorney for the Crawford family farm partnership. ” At this time, I cannot comment as to the exact points for appeal; however, I expect it will certainly include a request for further scrutiny of the Texas law to determine whether TransCanada actually qualifies as a common carrier.”

“As shown by the Denbury case, the Texas Supreme Court has demonstrated great courage and willingness to overturn lower courts’ decisions to protect Texas citizens from abuse of eminent domain laws by private corporations,” commented Julia Trigg Crawford. “We will continue our fight because the Keystone XL pipeline is all risk and no reward for my family and those Texans like us.”

“We have always seen our appellate case as a stepping stone to a higher court by which to resolve this matter,” added Crawford.  “We see this ruling as just another part of our journey in the process.”

Julia Trigg continued, “TransCanada is a foreign corporation using weak eminent domain laws to take property for their own private gain from hard-working Texans. Eminent domain was never intended for this purpose. As a landowner and an American, I support energy independence, but I value our individual and constitutional freedoms more than anything else. I’m continuing my stand for freedom from strangers on our land and freedom from my family’s land being taken from faceless, foreign corporations for their own private greed.”

“In addition to the appeal, our next steps will focus on asking our legislators and fellow citizens to hold public hearings on eminent domain and expose the risks these pipelines pose to those like us living along the routes,” Crawford concluded. “Together we will ask our officials to change the laws that have so far left hundreds of Texans with no other recourse than to go to the courthouse as we have done. Our case is emblematic of those American landowners whose constitutional assurances have been trampled and we will continue to stand up for our rights.”

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Austin is Not Developers’ Monopoly Board

Sign it, if you live in Austin

Austin is Not Developers' Monopoly Board

Dear Mayor Adler and Austin City Council Members:

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Why don't you share this with your friends, please:

Make Growth Pay for Itself

No Vista Ridge/San Antone Hose

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