Julia Trigg Crawford's fight to prevent Keystone XL pipeline company, TransCanada, from seizing her property using eminent domain scored a big win late last Friday when an appellate court reinstated her temporary restraining order (TRO). However, the same court just vacated the TRO today. TransCanada called in some big guns from American law firm Fulbright & Jaworski to get it done. Most Americans believe eminent domain is a power unique to government that should only be used rarely and only in a matter of public necessity, like for a road or school. So they’re incredulous to find out private companies can obtain this governmental power under certain circumstances, and one of them is for pipelines. However in Texas, that’s restricted to what’s called a ‘common carrier’ pipeline deemed a ‘public use’ as opposed to a private use. A coalition of organizations in Texas who are backing Crawford is expressing "exasperation" that the The Property Rights Protection Act, H.R. 1433, will likely include an exemption for pipelines, including Keystone XL. The bill recently passed in the U.S. House of Representatives and is now before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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