Land Comissioner Jerry Patterson Draws a Line in the Mud Over Keystone Protests

Categories: Buzz

jerry patterson.jpg
Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson
You'd think a guy with the job title "Texas land commissioner" would know a thing or two about Texas land. Little items, you know, like what the state boundaries are, what a landowner is and how to tell a Texan apart from, say, a Canadian.

See also:
- Keystone Pipeline Protesters Tie Themselves to Construction Equipment, Halt Work
- TransCanada Can Move Ahead With Texas Portion of Pipeline, But the Fight Isn't Over
- Tiny East Texas Towns Join Fight Against Keystone Pipeline. Should Dallas?

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson certainly has some definite ideas about who's a Texan, and his definition doesn't include a whole swath of East Texas folks who oppose the Keystone Pipeline Gulf Coast Project. Patterson's office circulated an op-ed last week about pipeline protests near Winnsboro. Cops arrested several protesters who climbed trees and tried to blockade machinery, including actress Daryl Hannah, who was born in Chicago.

Out-of-state "eco-anarchists," the bunch of them, Patterson wrote.

"The only thing they've managed to do so far is get arrested and waste the time and resources of local law enforcement officers. They have also generated publicity for a clueless Hollywood actress who was recently arrested, and thanks to her mug shot, probably received more press than she's received since she played a mermaid in a movie a couple of decades ago."

True-blue Texan though he is, Patterson apparently doesn't buy into old-fashioned notions of how a gentleman from the Lone Star State should speak about a lady. Good ol' Texas bullshit though? He's got that down better 'n a rodeo clown.

Those East Texas landowners whose property is being taken include plenty of Frito-pie eatin', Roger Staubach-lovin' Texans. The tiny towns of Reklaw, Alto and Gallatin, which have joined a Sierra Club lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers trying to halt the pipeline's march, are in Texas. So are a whole bunch of citizens who fear that the pipeline, designed to carry corrosive oil-bearing tar sands at high pressure down from Canada to the Gulf, will leak and poison their land and water supply.

"There is community support, and believe me, these towns have minds of their own, and nobody can lead them by the nose," says Rita Beving of the Dallas chapter of the Sierra Club, which is consulting with the locals. (Experts believe Dallas is also in Texas.) Most of the people arrested at the Winnsboro protest are from Texas, she says. And opposition is stretching across partisan lines. Beyond fears of pollution, landowners object to the use of eminent domain to swallow their properties.

To Patterson, all those people aren't right-thinking Texans, in that they don't think like him.
"If you think these folks are motivated by private property rights, think again," Patterson writes. "They are simply part of the environmental lunatic fringe that hates the oil and gas industry and is attempting to co-opt their message."

Got it? Any property owner who likes his land and the environment is just a dupe of Daryl Hannah, and not a true Texan like, say, someone living in Saskatchewan.

See Patterson's full op-ed below, plus a bonus video capturing his writing and editing process.

Time to Go Op Ed Final 10-12-12

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scottindallas topcommenter

The hold up on Keystone is principally those flaming eco nuts in Nebraska.  Nebraska wanted to review the route, and do environmental impact studies.  I don't have a problem with the pipeline, but if it takes a couple of years to find the least sensitive route, that won't hurt anything.  Anyway, the pipeline will RAISE gas and oil prices in this country, that's why the oil companies are so keen to build the pipeline, so we can export our oil to international markets, so that West Texas Intermediate Crude will sell for the $15 premium that Brent gets.  That will drive our prices to parity, which is higher. 


"a whole bunch of citizens who fear that the pipeline, designed to carry corrosive oil-bearing tar sands at high pressure down from Canada to the Gulf, will leak and poison their land and water supply."


those same folks and yourself may want to take a look at these maps. Texas, and especially East Texas is criss-crossed by pipelines


of course there is something else to consider - the Bakken Shale. right now that oil is being transported by rail but it could easily connect to the Keystone XL pipeline




"Those East Texas landowners whose property is being taken include plenty of Frito-pie eatin', Roger Staubach-lovin' Texans"

but didn't they get paid? seems to me that the woman who recently "stood her ground" was paid $20K


once the pipeline is built and buried what can't the landowners do on that land?

RTGolden1 topcommenter

I get why liberals believe conservatives hate the environment, idiots like this prove the point.  What I can never understand is how conservative public figures just cant believe that a red-blooded, t'baccy chewin' conservative would love the environment.  ATTENTION!!! Conservative Politicians:  Your constituents love to hunt, fish, camp, and hike IN THE ENVIRONMENT.  Some of them are even farmers and ranchers, who have learned that they have to take care of the environment for it to take care of them.  Conservative rank and file want to protect nature, because a lot of us spend a lot of time in nature.  I guess that is the big difference between a Republican and Conservative.  A republican wears conservative as a label.  A Conservative still knows there are things worth conserving and works to do so every chance he gets.


I don't believe eminent domain was ever intended to be used as it is being used today.  The intent was that the government could take land, with proper and fair compensation, for the greater common good.  I'd say that would be for things like schools, libraries, railroads and highways and government facilities.  Things that benefit society as a whole.  This pipeline serves to benefit the oil and gas industry alone.  There is no greater common good here.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

I thought that the lady from around Winnsboro that was fighting this was basing her argument over whether or not Keystone had the right to use eminent domain.


Was there any coverage on this?


Rick Perry retard government ladies and gentlemen..This is what the mouthbreathers voted for, this is what they get...


 @scottindallas can you point us to credible unbiased objective evidence that supports your contention that "the pipeline will RAISE gas and oil prices in this country,"? right now the refineries along the Gulf coast are having to import crude oil from Venezuela the same type of heavy crude that would come via the pipeline. do you have credible evidence showing that the oil will be exported? The refineries would rather refine the crude then ship it out

scottindallas topcommenter

 @pak152 and, once the pipeline is built, oil in this country will rise $15 dollars a barrel. 



This liberal agrees with you fully. 


The terms Liberal and Conservative need to be returned to their actual meanings, not the scare-mongering labels used by pundits.  Progress and reform, guarantee of civil liberties, and the maximum of personal freedom are truly liberal ideals.  Tradition, cautious moderation, protection of positive institutions, and restraint are truly conservative.  Both sets of traits are sometimes necessary, and individual situations might call for one or the other.


We're hampered by ideology without ideas.  We need ideas free from ideology.

scottindallas topcommenter

 @pak152 No, we have refineries built exclusively for that crude.  Do you follow the two oil prices?  Right now, WTI is going for $91, where Brent is selling for $115.  The international price is $24 over the domestic price.  Now, you pretend to be a conservative.  If so, you understand that that businesses seek to sell their goods for the best price possible.  The reason WTI is lower is that Cushing OK, where WTI actually is, is limited.  If that same oil can make it to the Gulf, it will go for the international rate, not our lower domestic rate.


I was guessing at the $15 figure, as that's been the average spread.  Once our landlocked oil can reach international markets, it will hit the international price.  In fact, that oil stuck up in N. Dakota created a situation where domestic oil was selling for $40-50/barrel less than WTI.  As rail shipments are costly, and the oil producers would rather sell it domestically than pay the freight. 


As to refineries, we have vast refining capacity domestically mothballed.  Though we have no more refineries, that's like saying you have the same number of heads as an infant.  The refineries have grown, and domestic consumption is down month to month (versus the previous year) on a 4-6% average.  In fact, domestic demand is down 4million barrels while Asian demand has only risen 1 million barrels. 


The high price of oil is due to speculation in financial markets, and not related to any supply and demand issues.  (Low tax rates encourage this cap lite financial manipulation)   Also, currently, we are exporting refined gas out of the country.  Oil prices affect gas prices.  Whether we export gasoline or crude is immaterial.  But currently, Cushing's oil tanks are full, and so US oil is constrained.  


Seriously, I'd recommend you listen to Ed Wallace on Sat AM's from 8-1 on 570.  He does his oil report at 9:00.  You should also refer to his website, a Drudge like news aggregator.   On the top of his page, he lists the closing price of WTI and Brent.

scottindallas topcommenter

 @Double-O-Joe  @RTGolden1 Fuck the terms, the terms are abstractions and are vacuous.  I agree with both of your comments, but I find the labels are so meaningless.  Hell, I'm forced to describe myself as a libertarian progressive, which is meaningless too.  But, I like the thought that I'm both to the left and the right of the two parties. 

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