Trans Texas Corridor

It’s protest time as TransCanada sicks legal hounds on Texas property rights

A coalition of groups including Independent TexansWe Texans (founded by Debra Medina), Texas TURF (founded by Terri Hall), and Texans for Accountable Government, are standing up for Texas property rights and to put a stop to the continued abuses by foreign corporations and the refusal of our legislature to truly reform eminent domain laws.

You may have seen the news coverage yesterday about the bullying tactics used by TransCanada to grab private property in NE Texas for the Keystone XL pipeline.  This is happening despite the fact that not only do they not have a federal permit, they have no state permit.  What they have is complicity with violating the property rights of Texans, from the Governor to the Railroad Commission.  (See press herehere and here.)
Last Tuesday, Julia Trigg Crawford and family of Paris, Texas, won a temporary restraining order to stop TransCanada from moving forward with trenching on her property for the Keystone pipeline.  She reported that her property had been condemned and seized by TransCanada and she had never even seen a judge.  So, it appeared she would get her day in court.  However, yesterday TransCanada filed a motion to dissolve the TRO.  There is a hearing on Friday in Paris, Texas on this issue.
Yes, Texas, we have an eminent domain problem.  Until the legislature REALLY fixes it, it’s time to stand up and be counted.  Therefore, we are supporting a protest outside the courthouse in Paris, Texas and in Austin, outside the Railroad Commission.
Please come!  Please pass this message on by forwarding this message or here on blog (use the share buttons.)
You can also help with phone calls or make a donation to our efforts.  Donate here.
Friday, Feb. 17, Paris, Texas, 9 am, In front of Lamar County Courthouse, 119 North Main- Paris, Texas.  Dallas Car Pool:  Meet in the parking lot at Walmart on Midway/LBJ at 6:45 am.  Park your car near the Lazy Boy store, not near the Walmart. Look for Rita’s silver Toyota 4-Runner.  Estimated time to be back in Dallas around 1:30 pm.
Friday, Feb. 17, Austin, 10 am, outside the Railroad Commission, 1701 Congress.  Bring quarters for parking meters.
Wear your Texas regalia, bring the Texas, US and “Don’t tread on me” flags.  It is time for us to stop this nonsense.
Linda Curtis
Independent Texans
PO Box 651
Bastrop, TX 78602
512-535-0989 office
512-657-2089 cell
PS  You can also make sure your friends have signed the petition/letter calling for legislative hearings in Texas on TransCanada.  Go here.

TransCanada Eerily Like Trans-Texas Corridor for Property Owners

Independent Texans is now part of a growing statewide coalition, along with We Texans (founded by Debra Medina), Texas TURF (founded by Terri Hall) and Texans for Accountable Government (Jessica Ellison is their liaison).  We are helping landowners in NE Texas who are having their land seized through eminent domain by TransCanada as they move to build the Keystone XL pipeline.  And, yes, this is despite the Obama administration’s rejection — for now — of the TransCanada permit.  What is sickening about this is that landowners in NE Texas have been under continual siege.  First, by the plan to flood hundreds of thousands of acres of prime farmland for a reservoir for Dallas development, followed by the efforts to seize their land for the Trans-Texas Corridor.  So far, both efforts have failed, and we intend to stop the TransCanada line until and unless all potential risks and harm is vetted in public hearings.

Apparently, as Terri Hall had warned in the last legislative session, SB 18, the so-called eminent domain “reform” bill had loopholes for pipeline companies you could drive a mack truck through.

Watch this FOX news clip that is really hilarious with the two sides saying exactly opposite things.  What is clear is that the landowners are getting screwed again…unless we, citizens, do something about it.  Click here to make sure to sign the petition/letter calling for public hearings in Texas.  Read the press release below too.

Landowners Rally Against Keystone Pipeline :


from We Texans, Independent Texans, Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom, Texans for Accountable Government

Groups Cry Foul as TransCanada Continues to Bully Landowners 

Despite Denial of Pipeline Permit Texas Private Property Rights an Ongoing Issue for Keystone XL Pipeline

Dallas, TX – Today a new statewide coalition of groups and advocates for private property rights has announced its support for landowners along the path of the Keystone XL pipeline in Texas. The groups charge that TransCanada, the company proposing to build the pipeline, has used eminent domain to bully landowners and condemn private property.

Despite a presidential permit denied to TransCanada for the Keystone XL project just weeks ago, the company continues to bully and pressure landowners along the Texas pipeline route.

The controversial Keystone XL pipeline would carry tar sands crude more than 1900 miles through six states including Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.  In Texas, the pipeline crosses eighteen counties, from Paris to Pt. Arthur.  Groups with landowners near the cities of Paris, Winnsboro, and Wells joined in press events held in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston to ask for support from agencies and officials on the continuing plight of landowners who would be impacted by the pipeline.

“Texas, we have an eminent domain problem,” said Terri Hall, director of Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF). “There is absolutely zero oversight for pipeline companies that want to take private property from Texans – all you have to do is check the right box on a form and declare yourself a common carrier, no questions asked.”

The form Hall refers to is a T4 permit application filed with the Texas Railroad Commission. In a recent Texas Supreme Court case, Texas Rice Land Partners, Ltd. and Mike Latta vs. Denbury Green Pipeline-Texas LLC , the court effectively revoked the eminent domain authority of the pipeline builder, holding that “Private property cannot be imperiled… by checking a certain box on a one-page government form.”  In order to be a common carrier, a company needs to satisfy the question if it is purposed for public use.  The pipeline company in this case did not meet the criteria of “common carrier” , as it was merely a private company transporting product to one of its own subsidiaries, therefore, not meeting the criteria of operating for public use or the public good.  There is a real question as to whether the private entity TransCanada Keystone XL meets those same criteria.

The ruling has been hailed as a major victory for private property rights in Texas. Advocates like Hall and former Republican gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina say that conservative politicians have campaigned on the issue but have done too little for property owners.

“Texas politicians talk tough on eminent domain, but with Keystone we have a private pipeline company acting as a ‘common carrier’ and bludgeoning private property owners with eminent domain while many of our Republican leaders cheer from the sidelines,” said Medina who is also director of We Texans.

“Despite the fact that this permit has been denied and there technically is no permit for TransCanada, the company continues to bully and pressure Texas landowners,” Medina noted.  “And we would all like to ask, by what authority does this company have to continue insisting that landowners settle with them when there is no permit?”

Linda Curtis of Independent Texans, who helped coordinate groups in 2006 supporting Carole Strayhorn’s independent gubernatorial bid and the anti-Trans-Texas Corridor efforts said, “A similar statewide grassroots movement is waiting in the wings on this issue because the problems are way too familiar to east Texans who fought to stop the land grab for the TTC.”

Medina and Hall held press events in Houston and San Antonio respectively, standing with landowners who say they’ve been bullied by TransCanada. Former DISH, TX mayor Calvin Tillman hosted a similar event in Dallas, and in Austin Independent Texans director Linda Curtis and Jessica Ellison of Texans for Accountable Government spoke.

Landowners attending the events have property condemned or are being pushed into negotiated settlements and claim their story has not been told. Landowners say theirs are among more than 80 cases in Texas where TransCanada, a private foreign pipeline company, condemned private property belonging to Texans.

“At this moment my property is condemned and legally TransCanada can lay that pipeline and pump undisclosed chemicals through it, even though we’ve never seen a judge,” said Julia Trigg Crawford of Lamar County. “I think most Texans would be stunned to find out that there is no process for challenging eminent domain use in a pipeline case until after your land has already been condemned.”

Crawford is challenging TransCanada’s right to common carrier and eminent domain in her case.  TransCanada’s representatives indicate they want to settle with the Crawfords out of court.  However, they insist on retaining the right to begin construction/trenching as soon as March 1, 2012. TransCanada’s representatives indicate they want to settle with the Crawfords out of court.  However, they insist on retaining the right to begin construction/trenching as soon as March 1, 2012.

“We need our officials to stand up and help these landowners,” commented Calvin Tillman, former Mayor of Dish.  “Currently the Railroad Commission and other state agencies are passing the buck, claiming they have no authority over Keystone wanting to build a segment from Cushing to the Texas coast.  Where are our legislators?  Where are the authorities to protect Texas landowners from private companies like TransCanada?”

The group also pointed out that the company misled landowners in other situations, telling property owners the pipeline had all necessary permits and repeatedly telling individual landowners that they were the last holdouts, making the pipeline seem inevitable and securing more favorable terms for the company.

Debra Medina –  512.663.8401, We Texans                  Calvin Tillman – 940.453.3640, former Mayor of Dish                 

Linda Curtis – 512.657.2089, Independent Texans       Terri Hall – 210.275.0640, TURF                                   

Jessica Ellison – 512.653.9179, Texans for Accountable Government

Julia Trigg Crawford – 713.443.8789 , Landowner, Paris     Eleanor Fairchild – 903.857.2284, Landowner, Winnsboro



Monday San Antonio! Defeat Props 2 & 4

Wanna know how ordinary Texans can unite to shoot down two treacherous statewide propositions this November — to protect your water & your wallets?

Come to San Antonio this Monday night (flier below)!  Witness the indomitable conservative Terri Hall of TURF and the invulnerable progressive Phil Cook, Lost Pines Sierra Club, AGREE that defeating Props 2 & 4 are serious dangers to water rights, water conservation AND a misuse of property taxes!

Too far to drive?  Forward this message, or use the share button on this page.

Use the donate button to the right OR send a check to Independent Texans at PO Box 651, Bastrop, TX 78602.  Click here to see what we need funds for.

For more info on the on the propositions, click here.  Early voting begins October 24!


*  TTC DEFEAT CELEBRATION!  We ALL need to be at TURF’s luncheon banquet in Austin, Saturday, October 15, 1-3:30 pm to THANK Rep. Lois Kolkhorst for her leadership to defeat the TTC.  Tickets are as little as $10. But, get your tickets NOW!

*  On the presidential trail, have you entered your “Testimonial” about life under Perryism at yet?  The site will soon be sent to 14,000 national media and bloggers, and tens of thousands of independent voters across America. (Note: you can use whatever name you wish under which to post.)

See some of y’all in San Antonio for NOT our last stand — promise!

Click here for the flier on October 3 San Antonio Forum on Progressives & Conservatives Defeating Props 2 & 4


November Vote to Stop the Trans-Texas Water Highway! Come to San Antonio!

Remember when the legislature put constitutional amendments on the statewide ballot in 2001?  It was two years later before we were told we voted to give the green light to the Governor’s Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC) and tollway schemes.
THIS November 8th we have the opportunity to defeat the water pipelines left-over from the old-TTC days. Seriously!
Texas Voters Homework Assignment:  or how you know they’re up to no good.
1.  Read what the Perry appointed Secretary of State (SOS) has as an Explanatory Statement about this November’s constitutional amendments, particularly on Prop 2, that would give revolving bonding authority to the Texas Water Development Board.  (Hint:  Then read what the Texas House Research Organization says about Prop 2, linked below.)
2.  Here’s what the Texas House Research Organization tells you about the amendments.  Read about Prop 2 all the way to the end.
3.  Here’s what Independent Texans will tell you about Prop 2.  We strongly suspect — no, we know — Prop 2’s bonding authority and increased debt allowances, will be used for the “Trans-Texas Water Highway”, the plans to pipe water out of rural Texas for developer contributors of the Governor.  How it impacts on the communities at the sources is of no concern to them.  Then there are dams and reservoirs the people have been fighting for years.  These hogs at the public trough are relentless.  But so are we — independent minded Texans who are fed up!

Join us in San Antonio! 

Tuesday, September 13th, 6:30-8 pm

November Vote to Stop the Trans-Texas Water Highway, No on Prop 2!

Terri Hall of Texas TURF  will also speak on Defeating Prop 4!

Parman Library @ Stone Oak

20735 Wilderness Oak

San Antonio, TX 78258

(can’t get to San Antonio, then invite us to your community)

We will also attend the Farm & Ranch Freedom Alliance Conference in San Antonio, Sept. 12-13 just before this event. Join us there!

(Or send a check to Independent Texans, PO Box 651, Bastrop, TX 78602)
Want to know what we need funds for?  Click here — and you can earmark (that’s not a dirty word for the indy cause) your contribution to us.
Thank you Texas!

Both Parties Lied: The Texas Nightmare


Texas House and Senate members are locked in a stalemate on what to do about funding (or, more accurately, cutting) public education. Your typical member, Republican and Democrat, is catching absolute and deserved hell from their constituents. Because both parties lied to the people of Texas by not making the $27B deficit a front and center issue in the last Governor's race.  Carole Strayhorn was right in her 2006 letter to Rick Perry, calling him on the plan to write a "hot check", predicting a $24B shortfall this year.  But it was both parties that let him get away with it. 

Read the rest of this entry »


Austin is Not Developers’ Monopoly Board

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Austin is Not Developers' Monopoly Board

Dear Mayor Adler and Austin City Council Members:


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Make Growth Pay for Itself

No Vista Ridge/San Antone Hose