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Keystone pipeline condemnation ruling appealed

BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) -- A group of Southeast Texas property owners are appealing a ruling to the Texas Supreme Court a ruling allowing condemnation of private land for a planned Canada-to-Gulf Coast oil pipeline.

A Jefferson County court-at-law judge ruled in October that Keystone pipeline developer TransCanada Corp. can take land by eminent domain from property owners in the coastal Southeast Texas county.

Attorneys for the property owners contend that the trial judge misapplied state law granting eminent-domain powers to common carriers and developers of crude-oil pipelines. They contend TransCanada would have exclusive use to the pipeline and that it would carry oil from tar sands, which requires processing to liquefy it and is, therefore, not crude.

TransCanada wants a federal permit to ship oil by pipeline from western Canada's tar-sand fields to Jefferson County.