Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Best Happy Hour

Best Happy Hour

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Arts & Culture: In one of the final chapters of his book To Selena, With Love (out March 6), Selena's widower Chris Perez mentions that Abraham Quintanilla, his former father-in-law, once... By Enrique Lopetegui 3/7/2012
Best Brunch

Best Brunch

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email


Tarnation: Environmentalists, landowners and Valero await decision on the Keystone XL pipeline

Photo: Photos by Tar Sands Blockade / LauraBorealis, License: N/A

Photos by Tar Sands Blockade / LauraBorealis

A protester is arrested outside Wells, Texas.

Photo: , License: N/A

Protester sits in the trees above the Keystone XL pipeline construction outside Wells, Texas.

"People have described this as an 'investment' or a 'partnership' or something like that," says Day. "None of that is true." Valero's first agreement with TransCanada has expired. As it stands, "Valero just says that we're a supporter of the pipeline, that we want that oil."

There have been estimates that Valero might want a lot of that oil, as much as 20 percent of the pipeline's initial capacity once it goes online — something Valero spokesman Day calls pure media conjecture. Brian Youngberg, an energy analyst who covers Valero for the investment firm Edward Jones, predicts Valero could wind up taking even more than that should Keystone XL go online. Valero can buy it up cheap, and sell the diesel it churns out at a premium in the developing world, he says.

"They really don't want that higher quality stuff," Youngberg says, "They want the crappy stuff."

Land grab

Along with the environmental impact tied to mining the Canadian tar sands, much of the controversy surrounding Keystone XL has centered on the communities and landowners that lie in the pipeline's path.

Diluted bitumen will eventually flow through a 36-inch pipeline buried under a stretch of Mike Bishop's 20 acres in Douglass, Texas, a small town bordering the Angelina River in Nacogdoches County. The 64-year-old ex-Marine says surveyors first showed up on his property in 2008. "I ran those sumbitches off," Bishop scoffs. TransCanada returned with a temporary restraining order, a lawyer, and a sheriff's deputy. The company eventually made what Bishop calls a low-ball compensation offer, which he promptly rejected.

When TransCanada took Bishop to court and won the right to condemn and take some of his land, the parties entered mediation and arrived at a dollar figure Bishop accepted in November. Bishop turned around and sued TransCanada for fraud in December, saying the company's permit application claims it will run conventional crude oil through the pipeline, not tar sands.

"This is not conventional crude oil, clear and simple," he says. "Diluted bitumen is not conventional crude." Bishop also claims that he signed his current contract with TransCanada under duress, being threatened by an eminent domain land grab.

Bishop got a temporary restraining order to stop bulldozers last month, but days later TransCanada countered and the judge lifted it. TransCanada has decided to run the pipeline through Bishop's front yard, uprooting trees and tearing up a large garden about 120 feet from his door. Off-duty sheriff's deputies routinely sit outside pulling guard duty for the company. "It's like a goddamn war zone," Bishop says.

Some 50 miles north sits the town of Reklaw, population 379. It's not just green energy-pushing environmentalists fighting the Keystone XL pipeline, but concerned East Texans like Reklaw Mayor Harlan Crawford.

Recently in News
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus