OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter announced Wednesday that he entered Oklahoma into a multi-state lawsuit against President Joe Biden for shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline.
The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas on Wednesday and seeks to stop the Biden administration from “circumventing limits placed on the presidency by the Constitution, the Administrative Procedure Act and congressionally enacted national policy in what the lawsuit calls a critical energy matter,” according to a news release issued from Hunter’s office.
Hunter said Biden taking executive action to halt the pipeline breaks the law and harms Americans.
“The president doesn’t have the constitutional authority to unilaterally block this project,” Hunter said. “It is up to Congress to approve the project, which they have done already. Further, the argument that transporting crude oil via pipeline is worse for the environment than by rail or shipment is preposterous and has been disproven numerous times, even by the Obama-Biden State Department. The Keystone Pipeline also will move the United States closer to energy independence. This will help Oklahomans and Americans by keeping costs for products and fuel down. As a fourth generation Oklahoman who has worked in the industry, I know how critical it is to our state. That is why I will do everything I can to ensure our energy sector is protected from federal overreach.”
Oklahoma is one of 21 Republican-led states banding together to sue Biden over the Keystone XL pipeline rejection, according to NBC News.
The other states in the lawsuit beyond Texas and Oklahoma are as follows: Montana, the other plaintiffs are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Although many of the states in the lawsuit are not near the pipeline, which would channel oil from tar sands in Alberta, Canada, to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast, attorneys general participating in the lawsuit say closing the pipeline would create a ripple effect that would hurt the economy and environment in non-pipeline states.
The attorneys general say Biden exceeded his authority when he revoked the Keystone XL permit on his first day in office because of a provision Congress inserted into 2011 tax legislation that required then-President Barack Obama to either approve the pipeline within 60 days or determine that it wasn’t in the nation’s interest.
Obama went on to reject TransCanada’s (now TC Energy Corp) application weeks later, saying Congress provided him insufficient time. However, he gave the company permission to re-apply, deffering the decision until after his re-election. He later rejected the application, President Donald Trump approved it and Biden revoked the approval.
A presidential permit and a national interest determination is required for the pipeline because it crosses an international border with Canada, according to NBC News.