UPDATE: East Texans fight to stop TransCanada Pipeline
POSTED: Saturday, October 16, 2010 - 10:27pm
UPDATED: Sunday, October 17, 2010 - 11:27pm
Hank Gilbert talks with East Texans on Saturday
WINNSBORO - The proposed TransCanada Pipeline is still a very controversial subject for many East Texas landowners.
The plan is to bring oil from the Canadian tar sands to refineries here on the Texas gulf coast.
On Saturday, concerned East Texans met in Winnsboro to get some advice from Hank Gilbert.
Gilbert is a lifelong rancher and Democratic candidate for Texas Agriculture Commissioner who also helped stop the controversial Trans-Texas Corridor.
"This is not an ordinary pipeline like you see running across property from an oil well or gas well. This is a 36 inch diameter pipeline at 1440 PSI only 4 feet under the ground, carrying some of the most toxic stuff that we've ever seen come through this state," Gilbert said.
One of Gilbert's suggestions to the group was for East Texans to start sub-regional planning commissions - nicknamed 391 commissions.
Gilbert hopes the commissions will force corporations like TransCanada to sit down and work things out with the landowners - slowing the process down - or even stopping it.
"If there is a catastrophe, it's unbelievable - it's going to be far more than any kind of money that's going to come into the county. If there's a problem, we are all going to pay. Our agriculture is ruined, our water supplies are ruined and our land is ruined for...a century or more...it's not worth it," said Patti Radillo, who attended the meeting.
Aside from the pipeline itself, one of the main problems the landowners have is with eminent domain. Meaning even if landowners don't sell a right of way for the pipeline, companies like TransCanada could build it there anyway.