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Keystone Pipeline Challenge Rejected by Top Texas Court

TransCanada Corp.’s power to condemn land as a common carrier won’t be reviewed by the Texas Supreme Court in one of four state-court challenges against the Keystone XL pipeline, which will carry Canadian tar-sands oil to the Texas coast.

The Texas Supreme Court today refused to hear a challenge by Rhinoceros Ventures Group Inc., whose property lies near the industry refinery hub at Beaumont, Texas. The court denied the petition without comment.

The landowners had urged the court to use its 2011 ruling in another pipeline case to withhold condemnation powers from interstate pipelines that bring out-of-state crude into Texas. The company had argued that interpretation could shut down interstate pipelines and “sever the arteries that fuel the very heart of the Texas Gulf Coast refining complex,” Tom Zabel, one of TransCanada’s attorneys, said in a March 27 filing.

TransCanada still faces three more court cases by other Texas landowners challenging Keystone XL’s right to condemn easements across their properties on slightly different legal theories. None of these court challenges has so far prevented the company from continuing to install the southern leg of its 2,151-mile line between western Canada and the Texas coast.

The case is Rhinoceros Ventures Group Inc. v. TransCanada Keystone Pipeline LP, 12-1019, Supreme Court of Texas.

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