The Republican attorneys general of 21 states who earlier this week threatened legal challenges to the $1.9-trillion dollar COVID relief package have filed a lawsuit to stop another Biden administration move – cancellation of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
The court filing says President Biden overstepped his authority when he blocked the 1,200-mile long pipeline on his first day in office because Congress should have the final say on the project.
The role of Congress in the permit process was not raised when Barack Obama denied a permit in 2015 or when Donald Trump approved permits in 2017 and 2019.
The suit is led by Austin Knudsen of Montana and Ken Paxton of Texas, who also led a coalition of GOP leaders in an unsuccessful bid to have the U-S Supreme Court overturn election results in 4 states.
Nebraska’s Doug Peterson, Wyoming’s Bridget Hill, and Jason Ravnsborg of South Dakota were also among the attorneys general signing onto the lawsuit.
The pipeline would carry crude from western Canada’s oil sands region to Gulf Coast refineries on a route that would cross South Dakota and Nebraska diagonally to link up with the route of the original Keystone pipeline.
Obama and Biden rejected the permit over long-standing concerns that producing and burning the Canadian crude would make climate change worse while Trump cited energy independence and job creation in approving the permits.