|Sutherland Asbill & Brennan Attorney Kent Sullivan quoted in Houston Business Journal article |
Eminent domain: Where private property and energy interests collide
|August 31, 2012 11:41 pm|
The Houston Business Journal:
As we power through the 2012 election cycle and gear up for the next Texas legislative session, the power of oil companies to claim eminent domain authority over private property rights could become a hot-button issue.
A judge in Lamar County recently confirmed TransCanada Corp.'s right of eminent domain when he rejected a motion by East Texas farmer Julia Trigg Crawford to block the company's construction of the Keystone XL pipeline through parts of her property.
Judge Bill Harris' decision clears one potential hurdle as TransCanada (NYSE: TRP) builds the southern leg of the pipeline, which begins in Cushing, Okla., and would deliver heavy crude oil to Texas refineries.
Former 14th Court of Appeals Justice Kent Sullivan, now a partner at the Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP law firm in Houston, said that if the Legislature takes up the issue, it could fall under the jurisdiction of the Railroad Commission, supplementing the administrative process that currently exists.
What do you think? Will the Keystone XL pipeline ultimately trump private property rights, or will the Legislature find a common ground that suits both landowners and the energy companies that want to buy, refine and sell the oil sands from Canada?
© 2012 American City Business Journals
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