Texas Pipeline Watch is a group of citizens who have come together to begin alerting our neighbors living along the routes of certain high-pressure and dangerous pipelines. We believe they are threats to our water, land, public safety and private property rights.
Keep your land and water SAFE from high pressure pipelines carrying TOXIC tar sands & liquified natural gas (LNG). Protect your property rights!
The tarsands pipelines in question are not limited to just the Keystone XL pipeline. They also include the Pegasus (owned by Exxon), the Seaway (owned by Enbridge and Enterprise) and the Keystone XL (owned by TransCanada).
We invite you – East Texans – to join us.
Julia Trigg Crawford is a farm manager that manages a 600-acre farm that’s been in her family since 1948. Canadian pipeline company, TransCanada, threatens her family’s health and their farm with a pipeline utilizing eminent domain to condemn their property. Foreign corporation, TransCanada, the company proposing the Keystone XL project, seized parts of the Crawford’s land to build a 36” pipeline that will pump corrosive diluted bitumen (aka tar sands) — at a pressure far higher than conventional crude – down to refineries in South Texas. When TransCanada came knocking to try and buy the Crawford family land, Julia Trigg did not want to sell.
In regards to the route Crawford said, “One of my first concerns was, to go the path they had planned, they had to horizontally drill under the creek that I have water rights to … I didn’t exactly want this sludge being pumped underneath the creek.”
After the Crawford family refused to sell to TransCanada, the next step for this foreign company was to condemn their land. They legally had the power to do this because, incredibly — the Texas Railroad Commission (the body that regulates the oil and gas industry) allows companies to self-declare they are a common carrier by simply checking a box on a “T4” form at the agency. Common carrier status carries with it the power of eminent domain – the right to seize property. To be a common carrier, eminent domain rights come only if you are for the public good or for public hire (meaning other oil companies can carry on your line.)
Meanwhile, the Railroad Commission openly states that they have no regulatory authority to make sure that a private company does not abuse the power of eminent domain and the Texas legislature has yet to take up the issue with any seriousness. The Crawford family recently appealed to the appellate court to overturn a Lamar county judge’s ruling in favor of TransCanada, but lost. They will be taking their case all the way to the Supreme Court of Texas to fight not only for their land and water, but for all Texans who value private property.
A Widespread Threat
Jessica Ellison grew up smack-dab in the middle of the piney woods of Big Sandy, East Texas. Born and raised on 60 acres of land that’s been in her family for over 150 years, she understood early on that land is something that you value, something that you take care of for future generations.
When she found out that the Keystone XL pipeline was coming through 300 yards from her family’s land, she decided to do some research. What she found was infuriating– from how easily land could be “condemned” through lax eminent domain laws to the toxic and destructive nature of tar sands.
Called to action, she joined the Texas Pipeline Watch group in an effort to further awareness about tar sands pipelines in East Texas and to empower landowners to take back their rights from the hands of private interests. She believes that property owners have the right to know the about the health and safety risks of what is being pumped through their backyards — as should the first responders that would respond to a pipeline leak. The health and safety of a community is more important than a company’s proprietary information about their product. If it’s safe, what do they have to hide?
Jessica has joined the call with Texas Pipeline Watch urging and holding public hearings throughout East Texas on eminent domain abuse, public safety and protection of water resources.
Feel free to call us at (409) 210-3803 or go to our contact section and email us. We look forward to hearing from you!