Energy experts like Amy Jaffe from UC Davis see oil and its consumption as a lifestyle that we have adopted. In order to maintain this lifestyle, energy infrastructure is vital for the public good. Landowners facing an eminent domain battle with TransCanada and its Keystone XL pipeline don’t exactly agree, especially when the infrastructure costs them their homes. David Daniel owns a 20-acre plot outside of Winnesboro, Texas whose defense has taken extraordinary heights. Eight stories high, in the trees that surround the condemned land, is Daniel’s platform for a last stand. As a carpenter, Daniel did what he knew best. His “airborne fortress” is a series of seven treehouses connected by cables and ropes spanning 500 feet. TransCanada’s daily aerial surveys caught Daniel in action and sued him, eventually forcing a settlement in favor of the company.
Although Daniel’s action was in some ways like Custard’s Last Stand, Texas property owners are not without some remedy to stop pipelines made solely for private use. The Texas Supreme Court has allowed landowners a “Denbury” challenge, which, if successful, could potentially shut down an entire pipeline. Or, at the very least, allow landowners like Daniel to test the pipeline’s right to be on their property. Texas eminent domain law is unique and it is very important for landowners to consult with attorneys who focus in this area.
To read more about Daniel’s fight, please click here..