Judge halts Keystone XL pipeline
Property owner wins two-week injunction in battle to stop tar sands project.
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