Washington — A coalition of attorneys general from 21 states sued President Biden and members of his administration for rescinding the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, seeking to undo the president’s attempt to effectively nix the 1,200 mile-long pipeline.
Led by the attorneys general of Texas and Montana, the states argued in their complaint that the president exceeded his authority when he issued his executive order January 20 revoking permits for the oil pipeline. The order targeting Keystone was one of several executive actions Mr. Biden has taken since assuming the presidency that focus on the environment and addressing climate change.
“Revocation of the Keystone XL pipeline permit is a regulation of interstate and international commerce, which can only be accomplished as any other statute can: through the process of bicameralism and presentment,” the states argued in their complaint. “The president lacks the power to enact his ‘ambitious plan’ to reshape the economy in defiance of Congress’s unwillingness to do so.”
The attorneys general argued Congress set rules for the actions the president can take regarding Keystone, and Mr. Biden and senior members of his administration flouted those rules.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton accused Mr. Biden of acting “with complete disregard for the constitutional limits on his power.”
Designed by TC Energy Corporation to move approximately 830,000 barrels of oil from Canada and Montana to the Gulf Coast of Texas, the Keystone XL pipeline is part of a larger system of lines and would run through several states. While the Obama administration denied permits for the pipeline, former President Donald Trump approved construction of the line in 2019, and work began last year.
In his order effectively ending the pipeline, Mr. Biden said it would not serve the national interest and argued the U.S. should prioritize “the development of a clean energy economy, which will in turn create good jobs.”
But his order has left hundreds of workers unemployed, and TC Energy estimated nearly 1,000 employees were laid off as a result of the action.