Randy Thompson, a cattle buyer in Nebraska, was informed
that if he did not grant pipeline access to 80 of the 400 acres left to him by his mother along the Platte River, “Keystone will use eminent domain to acquire the easement
.” Sue Kelso and her large extended family in Oklahoma were sued in the local district court by TransCanada
, the pipeline company, after she and her siblings refused to allow the pipeline to cross their pasture.
“Their land agent told us the very first day she met with us, you either take the money or they’re going to condemn the land,” Mrs. Kelso said. By its own count, the company currently has 34 eminent domain actions against landowners in Texas and an additional 22 in South Dakota.
In addition to enraging those along the proposed pipeline’s 1,700-mile path, the tactics have many people questioning whether a foreign company can pressure landowners without a permit from the State Department — the agency charged with determining whether the project is in the “national interest.” A decision is expected by year’s end on the pipeline, which would carry crude oil
from Alberta to American refineries.