A judge in Texas has
ordered Canadian oil giant TransCanada to temporarily halt the
construction on a private property of an oil pipeline designed to
carry tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. media
Texas landowner Michael Bishop filed a lawsuit in a Texas courthouse arguing that TransCanada lied to Americans when it said it would be using the Keystone XL pipeline to transport crude oil, according to the website of The Houston Chronicle.
Bishop said TransCanada defrauded him by taking his land for the pipeline it said would carry crude oil. Tar sands oil does not meet the definition as outlined in Texas and federal statutory codes which define crude oil as "liquid hydrocarbons extracted from the earth at atmospheric temperatures," he said.
Tar sands are largely in solid forms when extracted in Alberta, Canada, Bishop said.
Texas County Court at Law Judge Jack Sinz signed a temporary restraining order and injunction Friday, saying there was sufficient cause to halt the construction of the pipeline until a hearing Dec. 19.
The 7-billion-U.S.dollar Keystone XL pipeline would run 1,700 miles (2,720 km) to connect Canada's oil sands to refineries around Houston and the Gulf of Mexico. The project has encountered numerous obstacles across the U.S. as environmentalists and public officials voiced concerns over the safety of the pipeline.
To cross the U.S.-Canadian border, TransCanada needs a permit by U.S. President Barack Obama.
Obama, who refused to grant a permit earlier this year, suggested TransCanada reroute to avoid a sensitive environmental area in Nebraska. Meanwhile, Obama said TransCanada could pursue a shorter portion of the pipeline from Oklahoma to Texas.
TransCanada received the necessary permits for the southern portion of the proposed pipeline earlier this year and began construction.
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