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Texas rancher 'pushing back' against unwanted pipeline


 The following ran on the March 16, 2012, edition of WFAA-tv news. Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute at SMU's Cox School of Business, provided expertise for this story.

March 23, 2012

By Jonathan Betz

DIRECT, Texas — For three generations, the Crawford family has ranched these 600 acres of rolling hills near the Oklahoma and Texas border.

"Nowadays, it’s hard to amass a big, beautiful property like this with a lot of history," said farmer Julia Trigg Crawford, 53.

She worries that history is now in jeopardy, ever since TransCanada started eying her land to build its controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

"When someone comes in and says, 'You’re going to give us part of this land whether you want to or not,' that didn’t sit well," Crawford said.

The Calgary-based company hopes to build a $7 billion pipeline to carry heavy crude, known as tar sands, from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast. Although, part of the project has stalled in Washington, TransCanada announced last month it intends to move forward with the 435-mile section of the pipeline that will stretch from Oklahoma to Port Arthur.

It's a move Crawford is now bitterly fighting....

"Bringing it down from Canada is a much more stable source and a much friendlier customer to be buying it from," said Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute at SMU. "The less we import, the less we’re held hostage to the highs and lows overseas."...