Two more states join AG Knudsen’s Keystone XL lawsuit against Biden administration
- Alaska and Florida join lawsuit against illegal cancelation of Keystone XL permit
- Total number of states suing Biden administration over Keystone now stands at 23
- Recent pipeline crisis demonstrates need for more American energy infrastructure
Two more state attorneys general joined the lawsuit against President Joe Biden’s unconstitutional cancelation of the Keystone XL Pipeline, Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen announced today. The lawsuit, led by Montana and Texas, seeks to have portions of Executive Order 13990 cancelling KXPL’s cross-border permit declared unconstitutional and unlawful and seeks to prevent the Biden administration from taking any action to enforce the permit revocation.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor joined an amended complaint filed today in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The total number of states represented in the suit against Biden and his administration now stands at 23. The Saskatchewan government also said it recently it would be filing an amicus brief in support of the states’ lawsuit.
“The fallout from the Colonial pipeline cyberattack made it very clear that we need more energy infrastructure, not less. The Keystone XL would get more oil – including Montana oil – to American refineries to be sold to American consumers,” Attorney General Knudsen said. “The Constitution is clear that presidents do not have the power to regulate foreign and interstate commerce or to unilaterally undo an act of Congress. We will continue to fight to this federal overreach – along with the 22 other states – so that Montanans can benefit from the jobs, tax revenue, and enhanced energy independence the Keystone XL will bring to our communities.”
Several exhaustive studies undertaken by the Obama State Department that concluded the Keystone XL pipeline would boost the U.S economy, create American jobs, and safely transport oil throughout the country without increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Despite not having the power to do so, Biden revoked the permit via executive order on his first day in office.
The Keystone XL pipeline would cross into the United States in northern Montana and pass through six counties – five of which are designated as high-poverty areas – before proceeding through South Dakota and terminating in Nebraska where it would connect to other existing Keystone pipelines that travel to state-of-the-art refining centers predominantly along the Gulf Coast. Seventeen areas in the proposed project area were identified as minority and/or low-income populations.
Approximately 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day would be transported from where it is produced in Canada and Montana to a large refining hub near the Gulf Coast and supplement refining capacity in Illinois, ensuring a reliable domestic and global energy source, bolstering U.S. energy independence and global leadership.
Communities along its path would be infused with tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue, a transformative amount for low-population areas like McCone County, Montana. State and local tax collections in Montana were expected to exceed $65 million annually.
Additionally, an estimated 42,100 jobs with $2 billion in associated earnings throughout the United States would be created, including 3,700 direct construction jobs in Montana garnering approximately $127 million in employment earnings.
The pipeline’s area covered by the previous authorization extends from the border about 1.2 miles to and including the first pipeline isolation valve in Montana. Although it is a tiny piece of the Keystone XL project, it is the fulcrum around which it and the larger 2,687-mile Keystone System turns – it is also already substantially complete.
If Biden’s unilateral decision is legally effective, the highly anticipated jobs, businesses, and investments will not materialize, and these communities will lose out on a once-in-a-generation economic opportunity. It will also have a ripple effect that adversely impacts the economy and environment in non-pipeline states.