21 U.S. state governments filed a joint lawsuit against President Biden’s closure of the Keystone XL pipeline.
According to the lawsuit, the U.S. president breached his legal duties by turning off the pipeline project immediately after coming into office.
The legal action, initiated before the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Texas, includes the following states: South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia.
The attorney generals of these states issued a statement in which they pointed out that Biden breached the 2011 tax legislation that allowed the U.S. president to approve the pipeline project or officially characterize it as not being of national interest.
Lawyers stressed that Keystone XL pipeline’s owner TransCanada, now named TC Energy, was allowed to re-apply after Obama’s rejection due to administrative concerns, and was later approved by President Trump.
They maintained that Biden’s subsequent reversal of Trump’s decision was not allowed since President Trump approved the project.
Attorneys general also emphasized that Biden’s revocation of the project violated the doctrines of bicameralism and presentment, both deeply enshrined in the U.S Constitution.
Austin Knudsen, an Attorney General of Montana, further explained that interstate and foreign commerce should be regulated by the U.S. Congress and not the White House.
An environmentally friendly move or not?
The crucial motivation for President Biden’s revocation of the pipeline project has seemingly been his staunch adherence to environmental policies.
Many environmentalists believe that oil production and distribution, such as the one conducted through the pipeline, present one of the biggest dangers to the planet.
Yet, the opponents of Biden’s decision point out that the closure of the Keystone XL pipeline project would not significantly aid environmentalist goals.
Attorney General Knudsen described the closure as having no environmental benefit, only serving to satisfy Biden’s wealthy donors from the coastal states.
Even some Democrats expressed their disagreement with Biden’s move.
Another major worry regarding Biden’s decision concerns the likelihood that many people working on the project might lose their jobs.
Ken Paxton, an Attorney General of Texas, told reporters that thousands of Keystone XL pipeline workers might end up in poverty, without any ability to sustain themselves, their families, and their communities.
Paxton concluded by criticizing what he described as impoverishment for the sake of the illusion of the upcoming green jobs.