TransCanada protests reveal a bum deal for Texas landowners
For weeks, protestors affiliated with activist group Tar Sands Blockade have tried to halt construction of the southern leg of TransCanada’s pipeline from Alberta to the Gulf Coast. On Monday, one protestor chained himself to an underground piece of equipment, delaying for hours a crew tasked with clearing the the pipeline’s path.
The local ABC affiliate, KLTV, covered the story.
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What’s remarkable about this isn’t just the protestor’s action. It’s also striking to note how the landowner feels about TransCanada.
We’ve covered landowner hostility to TransCanada before: a family in northeast Texas whose land was seized by eminent domain after they declined to sign a contract with the pipeline giant.
Here’s Susan Scott, owner of the property where Monday’s action went down, confronting surveyors on her property in July.
Scott signed a contract with TransCanada, but feels misled about the deal. The KLTV reporter notes that she didn’t mind having protestors on her property. Her son, Gabriel Cordova, went on camera to explain why.
We signed [the contract] under the intention that it was going to be for a crude oil procedure — that it was just going to be pumping crude oil from here to there, refining it, and shipping it out. But the stuff that they’re pumping through is definitely not crude oil. It is completely toxic.
(If you would like a reminder of how toxic, here ya go.)
I just wanted to move out here and just live in peace. Peace and quiet. And now we’re having to fight a major, billion-dollar corporation over land, over our land. And if we didn’t accept anything from them, they were just going to take it by eminent domain, and our government let that happen. It’s just very frustrating to be an American when this is going on. Very frustrating.
That’s remarkable. TransCanada has a financial agreement with Scott — but Scott and her family support the protestors, and the effort to make things as difficult for TransCanada as possible.
Scott and Cordova highlight the false choice at the heart of TransCanada’s push: You can sign a contract — with, it seems, a lack of clarity about what is being signed — or you can have your land seized. It’s an offer that a landowner can’t refuse.
That’s our government, Susan Scott. That’s not us.