21 states sue Biden for rescinding Keystone XL pipeline permits
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Texas and Montana are among 21 states suing President Biden for signing an executive order rescinding permits for the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, arguing the president has overstepped his authority.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal district court in Texas argues that because the oil pipeline will pass through several states on its way to refineries in Houston, Congress has the right to regulate interstate commerce, not the president, and should have final say over whether it will be built.
“The President lacks the power to enact his ‘ambitious plan’ to reshape the economy in defiance of Congress’s unwillingness to do so,” the lawsuit states.
Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen in a statement said Biden’s decision to repeal the permit shows his ”contempt for rural communities in Montana and other states along the pipeline’s path that would benefit from and support the project.”
“Since his first day in office, President Biden has made it his mission to undo all the progress of the previous administration, with complete disregard for the Constitutional limits on his power. His decision to revoke the pipeline permit is not only unlawful but will also devastate the livelihoods of thousands of workers, their families, and their communities,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said.
Attorneys general in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming joined in the suit.
Construction on the 1,280-mile project, which stalled under the Obama administration, began again in 2019 when former President Donald Trump approved the permits.
But Biden on his first day in office signed an executive order revoking them.
TC Energy then said it was suspending construction on the $8 billion project and warned that thousands of union workers would lose their jobs unless Biden changed his mind.
Keystone XL, which would carry up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil a day from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Neb., for distribution to refineries on the Gulf Coast, was opposed by some environmental groups.
The lawsuit addressed the environmental argument.
“Essentially, the President purports to unilaterally shutter Keystone XL to send a climate-friendly signal to the international community and secure a stronger negotiating position in his efforts to combat climate change,” it says.
“Congress has never allowed the President to encroach upon its powers over international and interstate commerce in order to facilitate the President’s pursuit of such vague objectives.”
With Post wires
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