21 states sued President Joe Biden over his cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline. The decision, made during his first day in office, sparked protests all over. Some Democrats even joined Republicans in urging the president to reconsider.
Texas and Montana led the group of 21 states. Others that joined included Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
The Keystone Pipeline
Keystone is a 1,700-mile pipeline connecting Alberta, Canada to Steele City, Nebraska. It aims to transport 800,000 barrels of oil per day. From Nebraska, it would connect to pipes going to Texas Gulf Coast refineries. After Trump’s approval, construction resumed. Consequently, project officials set a completion target set by 2023.
Upon hearing Biden’s cancellation order, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement. “We are disappointed but acknowledge the President’s decision to fulfill his election campaign promise on Keystone XL,” he said.
Biden Exceeded Presidential Authority
Filed in a Texas District Court, the suit alleges that Biden exceeded his presidential authority. Many critics, including neighboring Canada, didn’t approve of his decision. Under the rules, the pipeline requires a presidential permit because it crosses borders. In this case, the Keystone pipeline runs through parts of Canada.
The suit pointed out that Congress included a provision in the 2011 tax legislation for this. It required the President to approve the pipeline within 60 days. Otherwise, he should issue a statement that it does not align with the national interest. Instead, Biden simply rejected the previous approval made by then-President Trump.
What Happened Before
Further back, the original Keystone pipeline proposal surfaced in 2008. The Canadian government approved its side of the deal in 2010, which leaves the US to approve it as well. However, the Obama administration refused to grant a permit. Specifically, the government cited questionable economic viability and environmental liabilities.
When former President Donald Trump won in 2016, the Keystone pipeline talks resurfaced. Trump approved the project in March 2019 and construction resumed. However, when Biden took office on January 20, he canceled the project permit again. Stopping Keystone was one of his many campaign promises. So, on his first day in office, he signed an EO canceling the permit.
Meanwhile, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton accused Biden of political motivation. Additionally, he said that the President’s actions weren’t based on economics or the environment. “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,” Paxton said.
Montana AG Austin Knudsen echoed Paxton’s concerns. He added that Biden’s action was “an empty virtue signal to his wealthy coastal elite donors. It shows Biden’s contempt for rural communities in Montana and other states along the pipeline’s path that would benefit from and support the project.”
42,000 Jobs Lost
The lawsuit filed by 21 states said the permit cancellation will result in the loss of 42,100 jobs. In addition, the US stands to lose $2 billion in associated earnings throughout the country”
On the other hand, those in opposition to the Keystone project include many environmental groups and organizations, indigenous communities and farmers, ranchers, and business owners along the route. In addition, they claim that the pipeline can cause devastating environmental consequences.
Watch the Fox Business News video where 14 state Attorney Generals and Senator Joe urges President Joe Biden to reinstate the Keystone XL Pipeline:
Do you agree that the Keystone XL Pipeline should reopen? Or, do the risks to the environment outweigh the economic benefits. Tell us what you think. Share your comments in the comments sections below.