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Eminent Domain Lawsuit Filed in Oklahoma

January 18, 2011

On Friday, January 14, twelve members of a Durant, Oklahoma family filed a challenge to TransCanada’s attempts to take an easement across their land by eminent domain. Their claim states:

The Landowners’ property cannot be legally taken by … a privately-owned foreign corporate entity … for the benefit of a privately-held foreign entity … (and) a foreign government…. TransCanada does not have the legal right to construct the proposed pipeline … (and) acted in bad faith by failing to make a reasonable offer for the purchase of Defendants’ property before filing the Petition for condemnation.

Sue Kelso of Duncanville, one of the plaintiffs, said:

I don’t think it is fair for a foreign company doing business in the U.S. to come in and railroad us by taking our land without our consent. Eminent domain is supposed to benefit everyone. Who’s going to benefit from this pipeline except the oil companies and the Chinese?

The White family, whose descendants are suing, has been in Bryan County since before Oklahoma became a state in 1907 and purchased the first 80 acres of the farm in question in 1941. The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, which is headquartered in Durant, and a former chief of the Mikisew Cree First Nation in Alberta (where tar sands oil is extracted) have issued statements in support of the White family. Attorney Harlan Hentges represents the plaintiffs.


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