By Laurel Brubaker Calkins
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to hold required public hearings before illegally granting permits that let TransCanada Corp. begin installing its Keystone XL pipeline in Texas and Oklahoma, a Texas farmer claimed in a federal court lawsuit.
Michael Bishop, who is fighting to stop the Canadian tar-sands oil pipeline from crossing his property, asked a U.S. judge to invalidate TransCanada’s permits and order public hearings on Keystone’s route through Texas and Oklahoma. The Corps of Engineers is the federal agency that issues construction permits for projects that impact waterways and wetlands.
“Public hearings should’ve been held in accordance with the law,” Bishop said in the lawsuit filed today in federal court in Lufkin, about 100 miles northeast of Houston. “The controversy surrounding this permit is well-publicized, and the Corps yielded to political pressure and expedited the permit.”