Stop Oil Giant’s Condemnation of Private Land

Target: President Barack Obama

Goal: Support a Texas landowner’s challenge against the southern leg of the dangerous Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Texas landowner and Marin Corps veteran Michael Bishop is fighting to protect his land from seizure by a major oil company. The Keystone XL pipeline, a project of Canadian company TransCanada, is designed to move oil from the Alberta tar sands patch all the way to coastal Texas, so the oil can be refined and shipped overseas. On the way to the coast, the pipeline’s southern leg would cut through the property of many Texas landowners, including Bishop’s. Sign the petition below to support Mr. Bishop’s effort to protect the land he and his neighbors care for.

Keystone XL would carry one of the world’s dirtiest forms of oil: tar sands oil extracted from bitumen deposits in Alberta, Canada. While the northern leg of the pipeline is waiting to receive a permit form the Obama administration before it can begin construction, TransCanada is already building the southern leg. The company is using “eminent domain” – a doctrine that makes it legal to seize private property and compensate the landowner, in cases where a project contributes to the public good – to take control of private lands for its pipeline. But landowners like Bishop are not giving up without a fight.

Mr. Bishop argues that TransCanada’s seizure of his land was illegal. For one thing, the company provided false information on its permit application, claiming that the pipeline would transport crude, rather than tar sands oil. Even more importantly, a pipeline used by a single company to export US oil overseas does not adequately meet the criterion of contributing to the “public good.”

Mr. Bishop’s lawsuit against TransCanada might be able to stop this destructive pipeline in its tracks – but unfortunately, the Obama administration is urging a federal court to dismiss it. Sign this petition to urge President Obama to drop his intervention in this case, and allow Michael Bishop’s lawsuit to move forward.


Dear President Obama,

I was disappointed to learn that your administration is pressuring a federal judge to dismiss Michael Bishop’s legal challenge to the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline. Mr. Bishop has raised legitimate concerns about the legality of TransCanada’s construction permit, and these concerns deserve a full airing in court. Mr. Bishop is a private landowner trying to protect his land from seizure by a foreign company, and the federal government should not be attempting to silence him.

Please drop your challenge to Michael Bishop’s lawsuit, and allow this important case to move forward.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Tar Sands Blockade via Flickr Creative Commons

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