Nacogdoches, Tx — A Nacogdoches County judge has granted a temporary restraining order after a local landowner filed suit against them.
The following information was released by the Sierra Club, an environmental group; below that is a release from TransCanada:
Retired Marine Michael Bishop filed a Pro Se lawsuit against TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, which has started work on the southern portion of the proposed line from Hardisty, Alberta, Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast. In the suit, Bishop claims that TransCanada has intentionally misled and misrepresented the project to Americans and Texas landowners. He has been granted a TRO by Nacogdoches County Court at Law Judge Jack Sinz. The required bond was just posted earlier this morning and TransCanada will be served by US Mail overnight. A Temporary Injunction hearing will take place on Wednesday December 19, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. at Nacogdoches County Court at Law, 101 W Main Nacogdoches, TX 75961. Mr Bishop intends to halt the project until a jury can hear the merits of his case. The TRO signed by Judge Sinz prohibits the firm from further work on his property until the hearing on December 19.
According to Bishop, the material to be transported from Canada is a hazardous material and not crude oil as depicted in TransCanada's permits, news releases and previous legal documents filed with both the U.S. State Department and in Texas courts. Bishop also claims that TransCanada defrauded the landowners by stating all of their permits were in order and that TransCanada, a private, foreign coproation, had the right to eminent domain as a common carrier. Bishop states that the Texas Constitution and case law do not allow eminent domain unless the project is one in which the public has an interest. Property in Texas cannot be taken for private gain.
Judge Sinz ruled as follows after reviewing the pleadings and affidavits filed by Mr. Bishop:" It clearly appears from the Application and Affidavit of Plaintiff Michael Bishop, that sufficient cause exists to issue a temporary restraining order until the merits of the Application can be presented to a jury. Without a temporary restraining order, Plaintiff will suffer immediate and irreparable injury, a violation of his Constitutional rights as delineated by the Texas constitution. This Application was heard ex parte and this Order granted without notice to the Defendant because further delay cannot be redressed by the Court; because Plaintiff has lost property and because Plaintiff has been defrauded and denied his Constitutional rights."
"I will continue to stand up and fight for those that cannot fight for themselves against this gross travesty of justice", said Bishop a Chemist and Renewable Biofuels Business Owner . "I will continue every effort to repel this foreign invasion and hopefully restore all of the property stolen by TransCanada via fraudulent means, to the rightful owners", he added. The 64-year old landowner and first year medical student has already filed a suit in Travis County District Court against the Railroad Commission of Texas http://www.statesman.com/news/news/landowner-takes-different-tack-in-sui...  In addition to these two suits, Bishop is also filing a suit in federal court against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and has "utmost confidence in its outcome. "After I prevail in these suits, I am going to make sure that real eminent domain reform is passed in Texas so that future generations do not have to suffer as we have", he said in closing.
On Friday, December 7, a landowner in Nacogdoches County filed a request for a temporary restraining order to stop TransCanada from building a pipeline across his property. The landowner is representing himself in the matter and has not yet served TransCanada with papers, but we will seek an expedited hearing to address this issue. Just three weeks ago, the same landowner signed an easement agreement with TransCanada.
Under Texas law, TransCanada has been granted the legal authority to construct this pipeline. Construction has commenced on the property that is the subject of the temporary restraining order and the product the Gulf Coast Pipeline will transport is crude oil.
Since we began construction of the Gulf Coast Pipeline in August 2012, TransCanada has already employed about 4,000 Americans to construct this important energy infrastructure project. Mr. Bishop’s request does not impact overall construction, and we are on track to bring this pipeline into operation in late 2013.