The Keystone XL pipeline hasn't even been approved yet, but that hasn't stopped proud papa TransCanada from starting to decorate its room. The company is already suing landowners who refuse to sell, and is threatening to use eminent domain to seize the land. 

The owners aren't resisting because of the pipeline's potentially disastrous environmental effects — they just want to keep their land. But TransCanada is having none of it, and they're not waiting around for the go-ahead from the State Department either. (Maybe they figure they already fixed the environmental review, so it's all just paperwork now.)

Grist relies on the support of generous readers like you. Donate today to keep our climate news free.

One anonymous official called it "presumptuous" for TransCanada to charge ahead like this, wielding eminent domain threats even though the project hasn't been approved. Another says TransCanada hasn't gotten the federal approval necessary to apply eminent domain. And lawyers for the defendants say the company definitely doesn't have eminent domain powers under the laws of the states involved. But a TransCanada spokesman says, "whatever, you're not our dad." 

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.