Douglass resident settles on TransCanada pipeline, vows to fight on

DOUGLASS, TX (KTRE) - Land clearing for the TransCanada pipeline is now underway in the Douglass area of Nacogdoches County. It's not a welcome sight for one landowner who fought to the very end.

East Texas News reports the longtime opponent is compromising, but not giving in.

The roar of bulldozers and the smell of smoke off FM 225 are now Mike Bishop's daily wake up call.

"The pipeline permanent easement is about 150-160 feet from my home, and they're in the process right now of clearing the land," Mike Bishop, the property owner, said.

The path goes roughly through the middle of Bishop's 14 acres. He said there are four natural springs on his property.

"There are four natural springs on the property," Bishop said. "They're disrupting two of them at this point right now. How do you compensate for that? You can't."

Yet, on Friday, Bishop reached a monetary settlement with TransCanada. The corporation's trump card is the right of eminent domain.

"I'm going to lose any way, so I might as well go ahead and get the best deal that I could for my family, and I'm going to take the money, and I'm going to try to move where there is an area where there is no pipeline," Bishop said.

The 64-year-old now intends to take his pipeline opposition somewhere else.

"I will be filing two lawsuits," Bishop said. "It will not be against TransCanada. It will be against the permitting agencies."

The former US Marine is known for his tenacity. He suspects there are other East Texans who agree with him, but are unwilling to stand with him.

"I'm so disappointed in the people that stopped the I-69," Bishop said. "We stopped that program dead in its tracks, and yet, when it came time to stand tall with us, nobody showed up. Nobody."

Bishop has always taken his own path. For years, the retired chemist has talked of building on his place a biorefinery using a noxious weed as fuel. The cane-like plant is now partly bulldozed to make room for another form of energy.

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