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2013-07-18

Court decision good for private property rights

Contributed

A decision by the Texas Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is good news for property owners in Bandera County, according to Bandera County Farm Bureau President Barbara Mazurek.
In its Crosstex v. Reins Roads Farm decision, the Texas Ninth Court of Appeals affirmed that property owners have the right to challenge common carrier status and the eminent domain power that comes with it in court.
The decision does not mean that pipelines will be more difficult to build, Mazurek explained, because the same court upheld the common carrier status of the TransCanada Keystone pipeline. However, these decisions mean that pipeline companies cannot have free rein to build pipelines with no accountability to the landowners they affect.
"The bad actors will have to defend themselves in court," Mazurek said. "Those who respect private property rights and operate in good faith can continue to build Texas' energy infrastructure."
Mazurek added that ill-advised legislation in the recently concluded session of the Texas Legislature would have left these critical issues to the Texas Railroad Commission.
"The decisions by the Ninth Circuit Court demonstrate our system works," she said.