In a summons of the modern-day militiamen of oil and gas, the AG’s of 21 individual states banded together to land one monumental blow against Biden and his administration. Responding to the devastating repeal of the Keystone XL Pipeline’s permit, the group of legal minds targeted the president and his cronies with a lawsuit.
“Revocation of the Keystone XL pipeline permit is a regulation of interstate and international commerce, which can only be accomplished as any statute can: through the process of bicameralism and presentment,” argued the states in their complaint. “The president lacks the power to enact his ‘ambitious plan’ to reshape the economy in defiance of Congress’s unwillingness to do so.”
Steered by the attorneys general of Montana and Texas, the coalition of states further argued the president overstepped his powers when he pulled the permit to the 1,200-mile-long pipeline through executive order. This order was one of many cast that concentrated on Biden’s environmental and climate change agenda.
With the ability for over 800,000 barrels of oil per day to flow from Canada to Nebraska, Democratic Senator, Joe Manchin, requested the president reverse his order. Chairing the energy committee, he indicated the pipeline construction could create many thousands of jobs, union ones at that.
The Other 19
Joining Texas and Montana, additional states helped comprise the force of 21 in taking on the Commander in Chief. With the shifting colors of the red and blue chessboard, they appear to have no bearing here as this organized defender of oil and gas is both Republican and Democrat. Those states included:
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Support Mustered from Both Sides of the Aisle
While Republican team members argued Biden’s order was both erratic and random, some of the state participants are equipped with Democratic governors, including Kansas and Kentucky.
“Cabinet Defendants’ actions … have the possibility of depriving states and local governments of millions of dollars in revenues. Yet, far from providing a reasoned explanation for why they are taking their actions, they have not provided any reason at all,” said the states.
Republicans have remained steadfast in their disapproval of the Biden administration. It stems from the first day the new president took office and waged war through executive order and simply pulled the pipeline’s permit. Simultaneously, environmentalists rallied the overreach on without any issues.
Montana’s Republican Attorney General Austin Knudsen weighed in with his opinion. He bashed Biden’s recall of the permit in a statement where he described the president’s actions as “an empty virtue signal to his wealthy coastal-elite donors.”
“The power to regulate foreign and interstate commerce belongs to Congress-not the President. This is another example of Joe Biden overstepping his constitutional role to the detriment of Montanans,” said Knudsen.
Justifying Biden’s Order
Sticking to their guns, Keystone XL opponents stipulate that the United States should not import oil rooted in tar sands that are carbon-intensive. The Tribes have also weighed in, claiming that the Trump administration approved the pipeline and violated their rights protected by treaty.
Using these opinions and others as the foundation on which Biden developed the Keystone killing executive order, he proclaimed the company’s pipeline “disserves” national interest.
Biden stated, “Leaving the Keystone XL pipeline permit in place would not be consistent with my administration’s economic and climate imperatives.”
What Lies Ahead
The Keystone XL pipeline’s fate continues to dangle in uncertainty. Political posturing and legal battlefronts will more than likely remain as the landscape until an undisputed victory is earned by either side. No matter who wins, the Keystone sits in the spotlight as the final rendering of triumph will pave the path forward in how it and other oil and gas projects will fare within a Biden/Harris republic. While that path is carved out, thousands of jobs and individual futures will be compromised and remain in question.
Nick Vaccaro is a freelance writer and photographer. Besides providing technical writing services, he is an HSE consultant in the oil and gas industry with eight years of experience. He also contributes to Louisiana Sportsman Magazine and follows and photographs American Kennel Club field and herding trials. Nick has a BA in Photojournalism from Loyola University and resides in the New Orleans area. 210-240-7188 [email protected]