Judge halts Key­stone XL pipe­line

Prop­erty owner wins two-week in­junc­tion in bat­tle to stop tar sands project.

Austin American-Statesman - - B METRO & STATE - By Ramit Plushnick-Masti

An East Texas judge has or­dered Tran­sCanada to tem­po­rar­ily halt work on a pri­vate prop­erty where it is build­ing part of an oil pipe­line de­signed to carry tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast, the lat­est le­gal bat­tle to plague a project that has en­coun­tered numer­ous ob­sta­cles na­tion­wide.

Landowner Michael Bishop, who is de­fend­ing him­self in his le­gal bat­tle against the oil gi­ant, filed his law­suit in the Nacog­doches County court­house, ar­gu­ing that Tran­sCanada lied to Tex­ans when it said it would be us­ing the Key­stone XL pipe­line to carry crude oil to re­finer­ies in Hous­ton and Port Arthur.

Tar sands oil doesn’t meet the def­i­ni­tion as out­lined in Texas and fed­eral statu­tory codes, which de­fine crude oil as “liq­uid hy­dro­car­bons ex­tracted from the earth at at­mo­spheric tem­per­a­tures,” Bishop said.

When tar sands are ex­tracted in Al­berta, Canada, the ma­te­rial is al­most a solid and “has to be heated and di­luted in or­der to even be trans­mit­ted,” he said.

“They lied to the Amer­i­can peo­ple,” Bishop said.

Texas County Court at Law Judge Jack Sinz signed a tem­po­rary re­strain­ing or­der and in­junc­tion Fri­day, say­ing there was suf­fi­cient cause to halt work un­til a hear­ing Dec. 19. The two-week in­junc­tion went into ef­fect Tues­day af­ter Bishop posted bond.

Tran­sCanada spokesman Shawn Howard said later in a

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