Isn’t there a Democratic lawyer in Texas that will help this man?

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:06 pm by wcnews

East Texas man suffers setback in legal action against oil pipeline

Mike Bishop, an East Texas landowner trying to stop an oil pipeline that crosses his property, has been representing himself in court proceedings with some success. But on Monday he learned that it’s more difficult than it might appear in the movies.

Bishop is trying to sue the Texas Railroad Commission in Travis County to prevent the completion of a pipeline owned by TransCanada that could bring Canadian diluted bitumen (the heavy black viscous oil from the bituminous sands, or tar sands) from Alberta, Canada to the refineries on the Texas coast.

Bishop maintains that diluted bitumen is not crude oil, and TransCanada doesn’t have the proper permits to transport it. He also claims the Railroad Commission, the state’s oil and gas regulator, is failing to protect the state’s surface water and ground water. TransCanada has disputed Bishop’s assertions, and lawyers for the state declined to comment.

Bishop, a retired Marine who is not a lawyer, learned the hard way that he did not properly serve documents to the Railroad Commission, and the case couldn’t go forward.

Bishop said he researched the law and accepted advice from state workers, but he also noted that he was kind of winging it. Bishop admitted in court that he had “no clue” about suing the state.

Lawyers for the state tried to explain to the judge that the state has sovereign immunity, which prevents it from being sued in state court without permission from the Legislature. But Travis County District Court Judge Stephen Yelenosky said the state’s argument would have to wait until Bishop properly serves the correct documents.

Speaking to Bishop, Yelenosky explained the importance of having a lawyer to navigate the often complicated legal system.

Bishop said after the hearing that he hasn’t been able to find a lawyer to take on the Railroad Commission.

“I’m going to go home and regroup,” said Bishop, who added that he was not discouraged.

Looks like a good way to pick up some votes in East Texas.

Perry has more on eminent domain coming up for Sunset review in Texas this year, You can end Rick Perry’s land grab.

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