21 states sue Biden for revoking Keystone pipeline permit

A group of Republican states are filing a lawsuit Thursday to overturn President Joe Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

21 states, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, submitted a complaint Wednesday to a Texas federal court arguing that the President does not have the authority to cancel the permit.

Revoking the permit is a “regulation of interstate and international commerce” that should be left to Congress, the complaint said.

Some of the states included in the lawsuit have Democratic governors, including Kentucky and Kansas, however, all of the states have republican attorneys general.

The proposed 1,200-mile pipeline would have carried oil from Canada to the U.S.

“This pipeline was set to go through six counties in extreme Eastern Montana… five of those counties are already designated as high-poverty counties,” Montana AG Knudsen told Fox News. “The project was set to become the largest property taxpayer in all of those counties… That’s out the window. Just shy of 4,000 jobs, that’s out the window.”

Biden revoked the permit for the Keystone pipeline via executive order on his first day in office, saying that the pipeline would cause a “dangerous, potentially catastrophic, climate trajectory.”

“The United States must be in a position to exercise vigorous climate leadership in order to achieve a significant increase in global climate action and put the world on a sustainable climate pathway. Leaving the Keystone XL pipeline permit in place would not be consistent with my Administration’s economic and climate imperatives,” Biden said.

Kundsen called Biden’s cancellation of the permit “an empty virtue signal to his wealthy coastal elite donors.”

“The power to regulate foreign and interstate commerce belongs to Congress – not the President. This is another example of Joe Biden overstepping his constitutional role to the detriment of Montanans,” he added.

Opponents of the pipeline argue that the U.S. should not be importing carbon-intensive tar sands oil. Native American tribes have also shown opposition for the pipeline, saying the Trump administration ignored their treaty rights when approving the pipeline.

However, pipeline supporters argue that the project would bring in revenue for the states and thousands of jobs.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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