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TransCanada Looks to Appeal Landowner Victory in Antelope County Court

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 prerequisites.”

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.

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