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TransCanada files lawsuit to block Keystone XL protests

Pipeline developer TransCanada has filed a lawsuit in Atoka County seeking to block protesters from getting in the way of construction of the southern section of its Keystone XL pipeline.
BY JAY F. MARKS Modified: May 10, 2013 at 9:49 pm •  Published: May 11, 2013

The project is part of TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which is awaiting approval from the Obama administration to cross the U.S.-Canada border. The 1,179-mile pipeline would carry oil from Canada and North Dakota through Cushing to the Gulf Coast.

“TransCanada has a responsibility to comply with the laws of Oklahoma when it secured easement agreements with landowners that provide it with the legal right to construct, operate and maintain the Gulf Coast Pipeline on their property,” Prescott said. “The individuals named in the petition we filed apparently believe they are above the law when they unlawfully enter construction areas.

“Those who oppose the Gulf Coast Pipeline and Keystone XL have a right to their misinformed opinion, and they can express those views on public property. When they enter the Gulf Coast Pipeline right of way, they are breaking the law and will be held accountable for their actions.”

TransCanada used a similar suit in Texas this year to win an injunction against three environmental groups and 20 others opposed to the $2.3 billion project. The groups agreed not to trespass on TransCanada property to avoid being sued for $5 million in damage the company allegedly suffered due to disruptions of the project.