UPDATED: Thursday, December 13, 2012 - 1:48pm
Nacogdoches County, Tx — TransCanada achieved a small victory in a Nacogdoches County courtroom Thursday morning.
Nacogdoches County Court at Law Judge Jack Sinz vacated a temporary restraining order against TransCanada. The TRO was put into place after a landowner filed suit against the company, claiming they had defrauded him by stating all of their permits were in order and that TransCanada, a private, foreign corporation, had the right to eminent domain as a common carrier.
TransCanada can immediately resume work constructing their pipeline on the complaintants land.
A December 19 injunction hearing requested by poth parties has been scheduled.
According to Judge Sanz, he ruled in favor of TransCanada because they had reached a previous agreement and money had been exchanged.
TransCanada released the following statement to KETK:
We are very pleased with Judge Sinz’s dismissal on this temporary restraining order. TransCanada has been open, honest and transparent with Mr. Bishop at all times. We recognize that not everyone will support the construction of a pipeline or other facilities, but we work hard to reach voluntary agreements and maintain good relationships with landowners. If we didn’t have a good relationship with more than 60,000 landowners across our energy infrastructure network, we wouldn’t be in business.
Following a mediation process where he was represented by an attorney, Mr. Bishop entered into an easement agreement with TransCanada so he had no basis for his latest actions. He was fully informed about what was in the agreement, and in exchange he received a significant compensation payment (including paying his legal bills up to that point) that he cashed the very next day. Judge Sinz acknowledged that Mr. Bishop knew what he was doing when he entered into the agreement with TransCanada. TransCanada has followed all of the laws established by the State of Texas and has the legal authority to construct the Gulf Coast Pipeline, and none of Mr. Bishop’s claims are supported by credible facts.
Since Mr. Bishop signed his agreement with TransCanada, nothing about the pipeline or the product it will carry has changed. While professional activists and others have made the same claims Mr. Bishop did today, oil is oil. This legal action has had no impact on construction activities for the Gulf Coast Project and the 4,000 workers that TransCanada has employed remain focus on safely building and bringing this pipeline into operation in late 2013.
A hearing has been set for December 19 to discuss the claims being made by Mr. Bishop. The court will also hear a counterclaim from TransCanada, seeking to prevent Mr. Bishop from interfering with our ability to exercise our easement rights.