Keystone XL

Media Advisory: Appellate Court hears Crawford v. TransCanada Eminent Domain Case on Keystone XL pipeline

MEDIA ADVISORY              
Press Conference Via Conference Call:  July 30, 2013, 3 :30 pm

Contacts: Julia Trigg Crawford, 713.443.8789, Rita Beving, Public Citizen, 214.557.2271, Linda Curtis, Independent Texans, 512.535.0989

Appellate Court to hear Julia Trigg Crawford v. TransCanada Eminent Domain Case Regarding Keystone XL Pipeline

WHAT:  A tele presser following the hearing with the 6th Appellate Court on Julia Trigg Crawford’s challenge to TransCanada’s right to use eminent domain to condemn her family’s farmland for the Keystone XL pipeline.

WHEN:  Tuesday, July 30, 3:30 pm, following the hearing.  Hearing begins at 1:30 pm.

WHERE:  Via conference call at this number: 866.501.6174 and conference code 31790031892 or in person outside the courtroom a Hunt County Auxiliary Courtroom, 2700 Johnson Street, Greenville, Texas.

MORE:  Julia Trigg Crawford said, “My family and I are humbled by the support and encouragement we’ve received from across America and the world on our appeal.  What began simply as the Crawford’s stand to protect our farm has become a stand for everyone’s property rights; and furthermore a movement to bring justice to all those who are facing corrupted land grabs.

As we did at the lower court, we will argue that TransCanada is not a common carrier with eminent domain authority, and did not have the right to take our land from us.  TransCanada arrogantly decided not to wait on the decision of the Appeal’s Court, and has pushed forward with its construction.

Our arguments will be heard by an experienced panel of Justices, familiar with cases of this high visibility and significance.  We are confident our case will be given the thoughtful consideration and the review it deserves.”




Statewide News — we hit the jackpot yesterday!

Things were cookin’ in Austin yesterday with NE Texas farmer, Julia Trigg Crawford, populist Republican Debra Medina and populist Democrat Jim Hightower.

They were there to call attention to the Legislature’s failure to address eminent domain abuse and the risks to our land and water supply posed by pipeline companies and frackers, because they’re trying to skip a step — full public hearings.  Read Crawford, Medina and Hightower’s to Dewhurst, Straus and Legislators here.

The press gets it.  Read this hot piece in the Texas Tribune.  Hightower was, as usual, a truth telling hoot!  Watch the video here (soon we’ll do some short clips you can use doing your social networking thing).

What can you do to help?  Ask your State Rep and State Senator to support the call for an Interim Study and hearings.  Find your reps here.  If you’re someone who is frustrated with your state reps, send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper and talk to your neighbors about calling for a hearing in your area.  We will help you set one up.

House District 17:  (That’s Lee, Bastrop, Caldwell, Gonzales and Karnes counties)

         State Representative Tim Kleinschmidt apparently believes he can sell out his constituents’ water rights and still get reelected.  In his letter announcing he’s running again, we count six times he uses the word “conservative” — in four sentences.  Please share a comment at the end of Kleinschmidt’s letter here what that word “conservative” means to you. 

         We are developing plans for targeting the defeat of other members of the Texas House and Senate for defeat.  

We can use your help:

1. Will you volunteer with us in your area of the state?

2.  Can you donate funds to our efforts?  We need to quickly raise $3,000 to rent a hall for a state convention in the early Fall.

3.  Would you join our convention team to put on that Fall convention?

First, be sure to sign in at site (click on the “join” under the Texas icon on the upper right hand of this page), then send us an email to, include your phone number and we’ll be back real soon with an area meeting and/or conference call.  Or just give us a call at 512-535-0989.  Just say you want to help.


An Open Letter to Lt. Gov. Dewhurst, House Speaker Straus and Texas Legislators

Click here for the letter with signatures, posted below.  Letter to Lt. Governor, Speaker of the Texas House and Texas Legislators

Dear Speaker, Lt. Governor and Legislators:

We visited your offices today, realizing you were busy with the current Special Session.  However, we ask for your help to secure public hearings for Texans immediately following this Special Session – in the communities affected, starting with East Texas — who have suffered from the abuse of eminent domain in our great state.  One of these individuals is a signatory of this letter, Julia Trigg Crawford, a farmer from Lamar County.

It is our understanding that Lt. Governor Dewhurst and/or House Speaker Straus, in order to secure these hearings, must call for an Interim Study, when the Legislature is not in session. Governor Perry recently put rumors to rest about adding to the Call.  However, rumors abound that there could be an additional Special Session beginning just after July 4th.  Therefore, we are asking for your commitment now for an Interim Study, for hearings to begin immediately following this session and for you to urge that the Governor hold on any additional sessions.

As you know, Texas eminent domain laws do not provide due process for individuals until after their land is seized.  This is where the problem begins.  There is also a list of problems that were heard in committee in the regular session, but there was not enough support to pass them.  We believe public hearings would help bring about the support needed to secure passage in the next session.

We urge that the hearings for the Interim Study we ask for begin immediately in East Texas along the route of the TransCanada/Keystone XL Pipeline.  This pipeline is due for completion sometime early next year.  It is our additional concern that Landowners, together with Towns, Cities and Counties along the route, may be inadequately prepared for emergency measures needed if there is a pipeline breach.  The fact that the pipeline is carrying diluted bitumen under high pressure, which carries particular dangers to health, safety and our water supply, has somehow been lost in the eminent domain shuffle.  Moreover, given the high profile of Texas water availability, we believe that the protection of the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer, which serves 10-12 million people, and which is traversed by this pipeline, deserves a special look by the Legislature.  Last, the recent anomalies in new pipeline being laid by TransCanada were in the press last week.  This points to the immediate need for hearings and full public disclosure.  These landowners and nearby residents deserve at least this much.


Debra Medina, We Texans

Julia Trigg Crawford, Landowner, Lamar County

Jim Hightower




Media Advisory: Monday, June 17th, 3 pm Media Conference

Contacts:  Debra Medina, We Texans, 512.663.8401, Linda Curtis or Jessica Ellison, Independent Texans, 512.657.2089 and 512.653.9179, Julia Trigg Crawford, 713.443.8789, Laura Ehrlich, Jim Hightower & Associates, 512.477-5588

Cross-Partisan Coalition Calls on Lt. Governor and House Speaker for Interim Study and Full Public Hearings on Eminent Domain Abuse Starting in East Texas, to include Public Safety Concerns Related to Potential Water Threats from Tar Sands Crude and Hydraulic Fracking

WHAT:  An unlikely coalition of leaders from across the partisan divide are starting a door knocking campaign to urge Lt. Governor Dewhurst and House Speaker Straus to call for an Interim Study on Eminent Domain Abuse following the close of the current Special Session.  Rumors abound that the Governor will call yet another Special Session in July, this one with eminent domain on the Call.  This would waste taxpayer dollars as consensus is unlikely because affected Texans have yet to be heard.

WHEN:  Press Conference is on Monday, June 17th at 3 pm, just following door knocking.

WHERE:  Outside the Capitol Grill, Capitol Extension, E1.002 (3 pm)

WHY: We believe a consensus on real eminent domain reform is impossible without FULL PUBLIC HEARINGS in the affected areas of Texas (not Austin).  The Lt. Governor and House Speaker are empowered to call for an Interim Study.  This should begin immediately following this Special Session in the areas where land was seized by TransCanada for the Keystone XL pipeline, before any hearings took place whatsoever.  Hearings that did take place were limited to the parties and excluded critical issues such as the potential harm from a spill over one of the largest Texas aquifers, the Carrizo-Wilcox that serves 10-12 million people and countless farms.  If the aquifer is polluted, the aquifer is dead and so would be Texas farming and our economy.  In addition, these hearings should address hydraulic fracking’s excessive use of potable water in the midst of our severe water shortage.

SPEAKERS:  (and possibly more)

Julia Trigg Crawford, Lamar County farmer

Debra Medina, We Texans

Jim Hightower, former Texas Agriculture Commissioner


The Battle for Private Property Rights in Texas & Pipelines


There are two competing bills addressing common carrier pipeline designations currently working their way through the Texas House.  WHY? Well, because, one bill favors the industry, HB 2748, authored by Rep. Tryon Lewis and one attempts to create an objective process and oversight, HB 3547, authored by Rep. Rene Oliveira.

It is critical that Texas Landowners attend this hearing and share with the committee their concerns about the common carrier pipeline designation process (or lack thereof).

Landowners need notice.
Landowners need access to the courts.
Texans deserve agencies that insure the industries they regulate follow the law.
WHAT: Business & Industry Committee Hearing on HB 3547
WHEN: 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, 2013 (or when the House stands adjourned, if that is later than 1:30 p.m.)
WHERE: E2.014, Texas Capitol Extension


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