Actress and activist Daryl Hannah was arrested outside of Winnsboro, Texas on Thursday for protesting the construction of an oil pipeline that is opposed by local landowners.
Hannah, 51, was arrested and taken into custody at the Wood Country Jail along with Eleanor Fairchild, the 78-year-old woman whose property the two were on at the time of their arrest. Paul Bassis, a rep for Hannah, said that Fairchild’s land was taken by eminent domain for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, a $7 billion project which would transport crude oil from Texas to Alberta, according to Reuters.
"Ms. Hannah and Ms. Fairchild were defending Ms. Fairchild's property from eminent domain abuse by TransCanada," said Bassis.
This is not the first time that Hannah, who rose to fame for her role opposite Tom Hanks in the 1984 movie “Splash,” has been arrested for protesting the issue. In August of 2011, she was arrested during a protest outside the White House.
"Sometimes it's necessary to sacrifice your freedom for a greater freedom," said Hannah, shortly before being removed by a S.W.A.T. team. "And we want to be free from the horrible death and destruction that fossil fuels cause, and have a clean energy future."
TransCanada Corp. – the company responsible for the project – is currently battling with local landowners in a Texas state appellate court over their use of eminent domain. On Thursday, opponents argued in an appeals court in Beaumont that TransCanada should be prohibited from using eminent domain because it does not fit the definition of a “common carrier” according to a recent Texas Supreme Court ruling, reported Bloomberg.
“The Texas Supreme Court ruling said the ownership of land is connected to our very freedom,” said Anthony Brocato, the plaintiff’s attorney representing the landowners, in the hearing. “If someone, for their private profit, comes to take what belongs to you, they have to follow the letter of every law and show precisely and specifically that they have the right.”
But Tom Zabal, the lawyer for TransCanada, has argued that the ruling is not applicable in the case of the Keystone XL pipeline.
The project, which has received enthusiastic support from the Canadian government, has received vocal opposition from landowners, as well as Canadian and American celebrities, since its inception. Opponents of the pipeline, including Hannah, say that the project could have dangerous consequences and would put underground water supplies at risk of contamination.
In a statement, TransCanada said that the pipeline would be “safe and reliable.”
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