A group of state attorneys general threaten to sue Biden for shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline project

More legal troubles may be on the horizon for the Biden administration.

The attorneys general of fourteen different states have announced that they are “reviewing available legal options” in response to President Joe Biden’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline. 

“Dear President Biden:”

The attorneys general, led by Austin Knudsen, the attorney general of Montana, submitted a letter to President Biden on Tuesday condemning his decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline.

“As the chief legal officers of our states, we write with alarm regarding your unilateral and rushed decision to revoke the 2019 Presidential Permit for the Keystone XL pipeline,” they wrote. “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 attorneys general go on to take issue with the grounds on which Biden canceled the Keystone XL pipeline, namely that it “disserves the U.S. national interest” and that it is a necessary step to combat climate change.

The letter writers argue that these grounds are unfounded, and conclude that observers are “left with only one reasonable supposition,” that the cancelation of the Keystone XL pipeline “is a symbolic act of virtue signaling to special interests and the international community.”

The attorneys general continue by highlighting the “real-world costs,” which include everything from the elimination of thousands of jobs to the driving of oil prices up to the creation of circumstances in which America’s allies will have to rely more heavily on Russian and Middle Eastern oil.

“Please be aware that the states are reviewing available legal options to protect our residents and sovereign interests,” the attorneys general conclude the letter. “In the meantime, we urge you to reconsider your decision to impose crippling economic injuries on states, communities, families, and workers across the country.”

Background

This is the latest pushback that the Biden administration has received for canceling the Keystone XL pipeline.

What Biden actually did, within hours of taking office, was to terminate a necessary permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. This had the effect of canceling the project since it can’t continue without that permit.

The goal of the project was to build a pipeline that would be able to transport some 800,000 barrels of oil from Canada to Texas. Despite numerous legal challenges, the project got the go-ahead during the Trump administration.

Biden has been heavily criticized for his decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline permit, including by some Democrats. The Biden administration, though, has given no indication that it is even considering overturning its decision.

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