Politics

Biden Overstepped Constitutional Authority When He Revoked Keystone Pipeline Permit, Multiple States Allege In Lawsuit

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A group of 21 Republican state attorneys general filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against President Joe Biden’s administration over its decision to nix the Keystone Pipeline. “This Administration has sought to leverage its power regarding U. S. foreign policy to unilaterally contradict Congress’s stated domestic policy regarding one of the most significant energy projects in a generation: the Keystone XL Pipeline,” the lawsuit said. Congress never granted the president the authority to revoke the pipeline’s permit, which is a regulation of interstate and international commerce, according to the lawsuit.

A group of 21 Republican state attorneys general filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against President Joe Biden’s administration over its decision to nix the Keystone XL Pipeline.

The states, led by Montana and Texas, accused President Joe Biden of overstepping his constitutional authority when he revoked the Keystone XL Pipeline’s federal permit on Jan. 20 hours after entering office, in the lawsuit filed Wednesday afternoon in the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

“The power to regulate foreign and interstate commerce belongs to Congress – not the President,” Montana Attorney General Knudsen said in a statement Wednesday. “This is another example of Joe Biden overstepping his constitutional role to the detriment of Montanans.”

“There is not even a perceived environmental benefit to his actions – his attempt to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline is an empty virtue signal to his wealthy coastal elite donors,” Knudsen said. “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.”

Congress never granted the president the authority to revoke the pipeline’s permit, which is a regulation of interstate and international commerce, according to the lawsuit. The U. S. Constitution gives Congress the sole power to regulate interstate and international commerce.

Further, Biden violated the rules previously set by Congress on what actions the executive branch may take regarding the Keystone pipeline, the lawsuit said.

Biden had stated that keeping the pipeline’s permit would not be consistent with his “economic and climate imperatives,” which include solving the world’s climate crisis. The complaint Wednesday argued that he couldn’t alter U. S. domestic policy with the intention of conducting foreign policy.

“The President has certain prerogatives to act on behalf of the United States in foreign affairs,” the lawsuit said. “But as far as domestic law is concerned, the President must work with and abide by the limits set by Congress—whether he likes them or not.”

“This Administration has sought to leverage its power regarding U. S. foreign policy to unilaterally contradict Congress’s stated domestic policy regarding one of the most significant energy projects in a generation: the Keystone XL Pipeline,” the lawsuit said.

Former President Donald Trump’s March 2019 executive order approving the pipeline permit was constitutional because it fell in line with the “repeatedly expressed preferences” of Congress, according to Wednesday’s complaint.

The lawsuit also noted the damages incurred by Biden’s decision to nix the pipeline’s permit. The project was estimated to generate $55.6 million in property taxes across 27 counties in just three states and to create more than 42,000 jobs.

The project is an extension of an existing TC Energy pipeline that already transports crude oil from Canada to the U. S., according to The Wall Street Journal. The extension would carry crude direct… (Read more)

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