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.”


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.”




Abortion: what really happened last night, for true indepedents that is

With due respect to both sides of the truly out-of-control scene last night on the floor of the Texas Senate, we wonder why no one on either side bothered to ask this question:  Can we agree on the abortion issue?  We all know that we cannot.  Moreover, we independents know the reason we cannot is because it’s none of the government’s business!

So why did the Governor and Lt. Governor agree that abortion should be the subject of a Special Session?  To state the obvious, it’s about the 2014 mid-term election where all statewide offices, all Texas House members, many Texas Senate seats and County Commission seats, and more, will be up for grabs.*

The Texas abortion brouhaha took place on the very same day of the US Supreme Court decision to dismantle the “preclearance” provisions of the Voting Rights Act.  (That means that voting system changes no longer have to be pre-approved, prior to their implementation, by the US Justice Department in areas of the country with a history of discriminatory voting practices.)  The Court’s ruling, together with the Governor’s and Lt. Governor’s abortion antics, underscore the need to get the parties out of the business of determining our voting systems.  This is especially true of redistricting – hello!

The only solution is to have a citizens takeover of the electoral system, starting with the redistricting process, like the one Austin voters won at the ballot last November.  (More here at

Yes, obviously, each side is revving up their partisans to do battle with the other party.  It’s not a conspiracy (other than the Governor’s and Lt. Governor’s perhaps), it’s just what parties do.  Note:  Terri Hall of Texas TURF, wisely pointed out that in the midst of all the bedlam over abortion, what didn’t get to the table in the Special Session that ended at midnight last night was an actual solution to our road funding problem! After ten years of fighting about it, this is a big deal, folks. Read this piece by Terri Hall here.

The press reported there was more collegiality and consensus building that took place in the regular session..  We do not doubt that.  But we would ask for what purpose?  They did not resolve the state’s water and land crisis.  Throwing $2B at the water problem, for projects set to squander water (through reservoirs and moving groundwater to the growth corridors) is will crush already fragile independent agriculture and landowners.  Luckily, we get a chance to vote on it in November.

The TransCanadian pipeline, carrying toxic tar sands that will traverse critical water supply and towns not yet prepared for potential spills, is set to be up and running in early 2014.  Fracking is using potable water in areas of the state where there is no water.  Texas towns are running out of water.  Growth (500 people are moving to Texas per day) and the dominance of the real estate industry are killing affordability in our big cities and pitting urban against rural for our resources.

Now we have another session with abortion at the top of the Call, and the parties are getting set for another deadly battle where there’s no winning for ordinary citizens — pro-choice, pro-life or whatever your beliefs.  Now ain’t that special?  The Republican majority will ram a likely unconstitutional new abortion law on Texas.  They will beat their chests and tie up the courts (there’s your “tort reform”) and use it to refocus as many voters as they can swindle away from the impending crisis of land, water and growing poverty.

The bottom line:  Job creation in Texas cannot keep up with the crisis underway because the costs of our unnatural growth will never catch up.  (If you want to understand this in just one Texas city, go to, a site created by a whistle-blower real estate develper, Brian Rodgers.)

We must come together — as a people — to bring this agenda into the upcoming election.  We can start by defeating the constitutional water amendment that will be on this November’s statewide ballot.

You can help by volunteering some time and sending us those nickels and dimes to help us put on a conference about all of the above in Bastrop in the fall.  Thank you so much to those who contributed last week.

We’d really like to know what you think.  Share your thoughts in the comments section below, please and thank you!

  * Independent Texans does not engage in Congressional races, though all will be up or reelection, because the districts are so gerrymandered (and therefore, uncompetitive), so far it’s been mostly a waste of our limited time and resources.



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.


No Eminent Domain for Private Gain Town Hall(s)!

Whether you can get to this important event on November 7th, in Cuero, Texas, please pass this on through your networks and call your State Representative and State Senator.  Ask them to hold a similar town hall where you live to help reform eminent domain in Texas.  They can’t have it both ways.  They can’t say they support property rights but give pipeline operators a blank check, as is the common practice by the Texas Railroad Commission and most of our state officials.

Click here for the details on the Cuero, Texas Town Hall on Wednesday, November 7, 920 East Broadway Street: Cuero Town Hall

You might want to read this excellent article in today’s American Free Press.

Sign up on this site to get Independent Texans’ emails if you’re not already.

Debra Medina, We Texans
Terri Hall, Texans United for Reform and Freedom
Linda Curtis, Independent Texans



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