NEWS & ANALYSIS

‘DEVASTATING DAMAGE’: 14 AGs Threaten Legal Action After Biden Cancels Keystone XL Pipeline


In a slew of executive orders signed during his first few days in office, Joe Biden cancelled the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline. 

A bit of background: in 2017, Trump granted a permit for the pipeline, an $8 billion cross-border project with Canada. Though it was delayed for several years by the Obama administration before being fully rejected in 2015, Trump reversed the rejection. 

Thus, in March, TC Energy Corp. approved the construction, designed to transport up to 830,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to Nebraska, after the Alberta government agreed to invest about $1.5 billion as equity and guarantee a $5.5-billion project loan.

But sadly, no longer, thanks to Joe Biden. 

In response, 14 GOP state attorneys general blasted the cancellation in a letter, urging Biden to reconsider and also warning they are considering legal action if he does not submit. 

“Please be aware that the states are reviewing available legal options to protect our residents and sovereign interests. In the meantime, we urge you to reconsider your decision to impose crippling economic injuries on states, communities, families and workers across the country,” Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen wrote in a letter. 

Knudsen is the author of the letter and is leading the coalition of 13 other state attorneys general who co-signed it, BizPacReview reports. 

“We write with alarm regarding your unilateral and rushed decision to revoke the 2019 Presidential Permit for the Keystone XL pipeline,” the letter said. “Your decision will result in devastating damage to many of our states and local communities. Even those states outside the path of the Keystone XL pipeline – indeed all Americans – will suffer serious, detrimental consequences.” 

“The real world costs are devastating,” the letter urged, pointing out that the cancellation will cost thousands of jobs. 

And they aren’t wrong. 

TC Energy Corp. estimates that 1,000 people will be immediately out of work following the order, as those jobs had already been filled. The company also estimated that 10,400 jobs would be created throughout the entirety of the pipeline’s construction. 

So, in total, Joe Biden killed 11,400 jobs, all in a matter of seconds. 

“It’s bad enough for the government to pick winners and losers in the marketplace, but much worse when the winners are aspirational. Aspirations don’t put food on the table, or pay the phone bill, or put kids through college. Jobs do, and you eliminated thousands of them with the stroke of a pen.” 

Co-signatures include: Ken Paxton of Texas, Alan Wilson of South Carolina, Jason Ravnsborg of South Dakota, Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia, Steve Marshall of Alabama, Leslie Rutledge of Arkansas, Christopher Carr of Georgia, Todd Rokita of Indiana, Derek Schmidt of Kansas, Jeff Landry of Louisiana, Lynn Fitch of Mississippi, Eric Schmitt of Missouri and Wayne Stenehjem of North Dakota. 

“We cannot ‘Build  Back  Better’ by reflexively tearing down,” the letter said in an apparent mockery of Biden’s campaign slogan.