A Texas judge has temporarily halted work on part of the Keystone XL, TransCanada's tar sands pipeline, the Associated Press reports on Tuesday, representing a victorious, small step in the battle to stop the flow of the bitumen through the lone star state.
The order comes after a suit filed by Texas landowner Michael Bishop, whose property is in the pipeline path. He told AP that TransCanada "lied to the American people" in saying that the pipeline would carry crude oil, when tar sands crude is substantially different.
"It is also a fact that the firm used coercion and intimidating tactics to obtain the property in question and that acting on the validity of their claim, I settled under duress,” Bloomberg reports Bishop as saying in an affidavit.
The judge sided with Bishop and granted a two-week restraining order. Brantley Hargrove from the Dallas Observer posts this statement from the judge:
It clearly appears from the Application and Affidavit of Plaintiff Michael Bishop, that sufficient cause exists to issue a temporary restraining order until the merits of the Application can be presented to a jury. Without a temporary restraining order, Plaintiff will suffer immediate and irreparable injury, a violation of his Constitutional rights as delineated by the Texas constitution. This Application was heard ex parte and this Order granted without notice to the Defendant because further delay cannot be redressed by the Court; because Plaintiff has lost property and because Plaintiff has been defrauded and denied his Constitutional rights.
Tar Sands Blockade, a coalition of groups that has been coordinating direct actions against the Keystone XL, has posted this video of Bishop outside the courthouse on Tuesday:
Tar Sands Blockade previously posted this video with the story of Bishop and other landowners fighting the Keystone XL: