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Judge Hears Landowners Arguments Against TransCanada’s Eminent Domain for Keystone XL, LB 1161 State Pipeline Law

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Landowners and supporters gather outside the Holt County Courthouse following a hearing in their case against TransCanada’s eminent domain for the Keystone XL pipeline, and state pipeline law LB 1161 on Oct. 19, 2015. (Photo: Mark Hefflinger)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, Oct. 19, 2015

Contact:
Jane Kleeb, 402-705-3622, jane@boldnebraska.org
Mark Hefflinger, mark@boldnebraska.org

Judge Hears Arguments in Landowners’ Case Challenging TransCanada’s
Eminent Domain for Keystone XL, LB 1161 State Pipeline Law

O’Neill, NE — This afternoon, Judge Mark Kozisek heard arguments from landowners facing eminent domain threats against their land for TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

“Landowners in Nebraska have been before the courts looking for an answer to the constitutional issues presented here since May 2012,” said Dave Domina, landowners’ attorney. “TransCanada admitted, twice, they are the proper parties to bring this question to the judiciary. Now, TransCanada wants to cut and run. The company has no credibility left with landowners. The public, and the landowners, and the Public Service Commissionn need and want the Court’s decision on the merits. Enough of duck and run behind lobbyists and money. The merits deserve a decision.”

“President Obama could put an end to all of this madness with the stroke of his pen, and a rejection of TransCanada’s permit application to build Keystone XL,” added Bold Nebraska director Jane Kleeb.

*A telephone press conference is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 10:00 a.m. CT, where landowners’ attorney Dave Domina will provide additional details and answer reporters’ questions. Details below.

**Press Call: Tuesday, October 20, 10am CT / 11am ET**
Dial: 877-876-9177; Pass code: KXL
Media Advisory: Nebraska Legal Experts, Advocates to Discuss Updates on Keystone XL

In spite of TransCanada’s recent decision to pull out of litigation in Nebraska over Keystone XL, Holt County landowners’ lawsuit against the unconstitutional state law that granted the company the right to use eminent domain for the pipeline will go forward. This Monday, the landowners appeared in County court for oral arguments in the lawsuit.

On Tuesday morning at 10am CT / 11am ET, Bold Nebraska will host a telephonic press briefing to discuss the hearing, as well as other updates on the Keystone XL approval process in Nebraska.

Nebraska advocates and legal experts will also be joined by American and Canadian environmental advocates who will discuss the broader state of play for Keystone XL, particularly in the aftermath of the October 19 Canadian national election.

WHAT: Telephonic press briefing on the state of the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline

WHO:

  • Jane Kleeb, Director of Bold Nebraska
  • Dave Domina, Attorney representing landowners in their case against TransCanada
  • Art Tanderup, Nebraska farmer and landowner
  • Anthony Swift, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Adam Scott, Environmental Defence Canada

WHEN: Tuesday, October 20, 10am CT / 11am ET
DIAL: 877-876-9177; Pass code: KXL

Full background on the case:
http://boldnebraska.org/landowners-take-legal-action-in-face-of-eminent-domain-threats-from-transcanada/

On February 26, 2015, the District Court in York County, Nebraska granted local landowners’ motion for a preliminary injunction that halted TransCanada’s authority to invoke eminent domain for its proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

The landowners’ lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of LB 1161, the law passed by the Nebraska legislature that took power to grant eminent domain from the Public Service Commission and put it in the hands of then-Governor Dave Heineman.

Landowners’ attorneys with Domina Law Group believe there is a substantial likelihood that the Nebraska Supreme Court will in this new lawsuit revisit their previous challenge to the constitutionality of LB 1161 (Thompson v. Heineman).

When landowners addressed the Supreme Court previously, four of the seven justices agreed with the merits of the landowners’ case, but since TransCanada had not yet invoked eminent domain rights, the remaining three justices did not render an opinion on constitutionality.

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