TransCanada, the company behind the rejected Keystone XL Pipeline,
continues to split their legal battle across multiple county courts. On November 30, the multi-billion dollar
company appealed the Antelope County court’s decision requiring
them to pay the landowner’s legal fees.
Domina Law Group attorney Brian Jorde addressed a dozen or so of those
landowners late last week in order to prepare them for the upcoming court battle.
“The appeals are all virtually identical,” he said. “So
we are making all the legal arguments on the evidence in front of all
the different district court judges where there was county court condemnation.”
It’s unclear as to when the three district courts and three county
courts will announce their final rulings, so Brian, the landowners, and
groups opposing the pipeline’s development need to look towards
the future to plan their next steps.
“President-elect Trump has said he is for the pipeline but you have
to treat the land owners fairly,” commented Jorde. “So then
the big question is, what does fairly mean?”
The upcoming arguments will focus on the removal of pipes, liability protection,
and payments, but the timeframe of those steps could take years to materialize
according to Brian.
“There is still going to be a couple years before it would even be
in the ground, assuming they would be successful with all the procedural
The landowner’s fight against TransCanada has raged on for eight
years, and they have no intention of letting up now. While it’s
hard to know what the future holds for this battle, public knowledge about
the negative impact pipelines can have on the environment continues to
grow and more people have come to accept that it’s time to look
towards alternative energy, rather than rely on fossil fuels.
“Hearings like today kind of stir up the old feelings,” said
Nebraska Easement Action Team board member Tom Genung. “The old
feelings go back eight years or about eight years when the proposed route
went through some of my mother-in-law’s ground that she was coerced,
basically, into an easement… There are a whole bunch of land owners,
at least here in Nebraska and I think in other states too, that are more
prepared for the next go around.”
Brian will join landowners in Polk, Boone, Nance, Boyd and York counties
over the coming months as TransCanada continues to appeal the court’s
decisions throughout the state.