The South Dakota Attorney General Office has joined 20 other state attorneys general, led by Montana and Texas, in filing suit in United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas to block President Joe Biden’s attempt to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline (KXLP).
According to the Attorney General Office release, despite several 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, President Biden revoked the permit via executive order mere hours after reciting his oath of office.
However, he did not have the authority to do so.
“The power to regulate foreign and interstate commerce belongs to Congress – not the President,” Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen said. “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. It shows Biden’s contempt for rural communities that would benefit from and support the project.”
The lawsuit asks the court to declare the section of Executive Order 13990 cancelling KXPL’s cross-border permit unconstitutional and unlawful, and seeks to prevent the Biden administration from taking any action to enforce the permit revocation.
The lawsuit states, “The decision to provide or withhold permission to construct and operate an oil pipeline across the international border with Canada is a regulation of international and interstate commerce. Under the Constitution, this power resides with Congress.” Therefore, “President Biden’s decision to revoke the Keystone XL permit exceeded the scope of his authority under Article II of the Constitution.”
The release also stated that the attempt to block the construction and operation of the pipeline is also “contrary to law and an affront to the Constitution’s separation of powers,” as Congress expressly permitted the project in the 2011 Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act. Further, President Biden’s permit revocation and the administration’s attempts to carry it out also do not comport with the Administrative Procedure Act, violate the non-delegation doctrine, and are arbitrary and capricious.