President Joe Biden got some bad news on Wednesday when 21 states came together to sue him for his executive order that shut down the Keystone XL pipeline.
Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, the lawsuit accuses Biden of exceeding his presidential authority when he cancelled the pipeline. The lawsuit was filed by Republican attorneys general from the states of Texas, Montana, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
“Within hours of taking office, President Biden issued an Executive Order that purports to revoke the permit on the grounds that he has ‘an ambitious plan’ to ‘reduce harmful emissions and create good clean-energy jobs’ and that this completed pipeline would ‘not be consistent with [his] Administration’s economic and climate imperatives,'” states the lawsuit.
It goes on to add:
“Revocation of the Keystone XL pipeline permit is a regulation of interstate and international commerce, which can only be accomplished as any other statute can: through the process of bicameralism and presentment. The President lacks the power to enact his ‘ambitious plan’ to reshape the economy in defiance of Congress’s unwillingness to do so.”
“To the extent that Congress had delegated such authority, it would violate the non-delegation doctrine. But Congress has not delegated such authority: It set specific rules regarding what actions the President can take about Keystone XL and when. The President, together with various senior executive officials, violated those rules. The action should be set aside as inconsistent with the Constitution and the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 500, et seq.”
Leading the charge on this lawsuit are attorneys general Ken Paxton of Texas and Austin Knudsen of Montana, who alleged that “President Biden does not have the unilateral authority to change energy policy that Congress has set,” including “rejecting permits for oil pipelines that cross an international border.”
Saxton released a statement of his own explaining why he feels this lawsuit is necessary.
“Since his first day in office, President Biden has made it his mission to undo all the progress of the previous administration, with complete disregard for the Constitutional limits on his power,” Paxton said. “His decision to revoke the pipeline permit is not only unlawful but will also devastate the livelihoods of thousands of workers, their families, and their communities.”
“This administration continues to tout imaginary green-energy jobs, without any recognition that their actions in the real world will make it impossible for hard-working Americans to put food on the table,” he added.
Knudsen doubled down in a statement of his own.
“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,” he 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,” Knudsen added. “It shows Biden’s contempt for rural communities in Montana and other states along the pipeline’s path that would benefit from and support the project.”