With Entry of Default, A Small Victory for a Texas Landowner in Keystone Pipeline Case

mike bishop.jpg
Brandon Thibodeaux
This spring, Mike Bishop, an irascible former chemical engineer, filed a pro se lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the permit it issued for the Oklahoma/Texas leg of the Keystone oil pipeline. On Wednesday, at Bishop's request, a federal clerk issued an entry of default against the Army Corps for failing to respond to his federal suit.

On Friday, Bishop says he intends to ask the judge for a default judgment and a revocation of the permit for the pipeline, which, as we noted yesterday, is 95 percent complete. "If the court upholds what I'm saying, the pipeline gets dug up."

There are a few scenarios here. The judge could, as Bishop says, enter a default judgment against the Army Corps. It's likely, though, that Bishop would first have to convince the judge that his claim is valid. Or, he could set it aside. Or, the feds could decide to respond.

"Why do you think a government agency and all the fucking officers, from the generals in Washington to the [Army Corps'] Galveston District, failed to respond?" he said. "My suit was sent and served on the attorney general of the United States of America. They don't ignore lawsuits. I'll tell you what I think. I think Obama told them to ignore it. He needs someone to have victory on this pipeline so the heat comes off him. I think it's a political move."

This is the third ongoing lawsuit Bishop has filed regarding the pipeline. He lives in a little cabin, on a wooded plot in Douglass, near Nacogdoches. The Keystone bisects his property, passing near his house. He filed suit against TransCanada, the pipeline company behind the Keystone, and won a brief injunction against the pipeline. He filed this lawsuit in April, contending that the Army Corps violated the National Environmental Protection Act by failing to provide an avenue for public comment on the pipeline permit.

Its approval came after President Obama called on the Army Corps to expedite the approval of the Keystone's southern leg, from Cushing, Oklahoma, to Texas Gulf refineries, while the northern leg from the Alberta tar sand mines underwent review. The 1,661-mile, 36-inch pipeline, if approved, will carry 700,000 gallons per day of diluted bitumen, a slurry of tar sand and natural-gas liquids past Bishop's home.

"I'm one simple landowner here in Texas who said, 'Fuck you! I've had enough and I'm not going to take it anymore and I'm going to fight you,'" he said. "These people need to be put in jail.

"And [Texas Attorney General] Greg Abbott needs to be standing by my side saying, 'I defend the right of private property owners to not have their land taken by private corporations.'"


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22 comments
harrymorgan124
harrymorgan124

So what is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers doing building a commercial foreign pipeline? Anyone want to tell me again that Obama is not supporting this disaster 100%? Obama is a real tea party Koch puppet at heart and the biggest lying pos since Bush. Throw in Kerry and you have the perfect combination of fascist crap ever to hit the states. 

casiepierce
casiepierce

What the hell is wrong with you people? Greg Abott may be an asshole because he's, well, an asshole, but it is NOT okay to make fun of the fact that he's a paraplegic (he can't "stand" next to anyone, har har har...) Grow the fuck up.

fracquestions
fracquestions

Good for you, Mike Bishop! If a few million others had the balls to stand up like you are doing, then we would not be dominated by corporations and the politicians they own. You are an inspiration to all of us who fight against government sell-outs to corporations at our expense.

itchyjack
itchyjack

Abbott stand by his side???? Ha - Abbott will only defend a blob of cells because that will bring some cash into his coffer.  That Jack won't even defend a disabled person's right to have a special space in a parking lot, let alone defend a single land owner's right not to have a 36-inch pipeline come close to his house.

gm0622
gm0622

And this suit was sent certified to the proper recipients? some how or another, I believe the timing chain has skipped a tooth or two

dingo
dingo

Obama conspiracy theory not very likely. The dude needs to get into town every once in a while.

I can sympathize with him and salute him for undergoing several pro se Federal filings but the Feds are going to get their day in front of the judge on this. He is a chemical engineer so he is smart enough to read and understand FRCP 55(d), so he knows this also.

If going to court pro se were made easy then the attorneys would have to create complexity elsewhere, I guess.


ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Abbott is too chicken to help the fracking victims, he is bought and paid for...just another in a long line.

Rrc to ag to gov. Their career path, our path to perdition.

pak152
pak152

'"My suit was sent and served on the attorney general of the United States of America. They don't ignore lawsuits."

Has he forgotten who the AG is? US DOJ has ignored bigger issues than his

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

Wonder if knows Greg Abbott can't stand by his side.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

"And (Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott needs to be standing by my side saying, 'I defend the right of private property owners to not have their land taken by private corporations.'"


Sorry holmes, Abbott will never be STANDING by your side, ever!

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

If this guy expects Abbott or any other texpublican to stand up and say no to the oil industry he must be delusional.

schermbeck
schermbeck

Alas, all we have are corporately-owned conservatives holding higher elected offices in Austin  instead of the real thing. 

fracquestions
fracquestions

@gm0622 Believe what you want to believe, but earlier coverage of this story indicated that the notices WERE sent by certified mail. As to your timing chain, it may well have skipped a tooth or two.

pak152
pak152

@Montemalone not when $1billion a year are flowing into the state coffers from the oil industry

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