Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt joined 20 other state attorneys general in filing suit yesterday, led by Montana and Texas, in United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas challenging President Joe Biden’s cancellation of the permits for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline (KXLP).
The lawsuit argues that President Biden’s administration did not have the authority to cancel the permit as the action exceeds the President’s authority under Article II of the Constitution and violates the Administrative Procedure Act and the Non-Delegation Doctrine, as well as other previous legislation. Additionally, the lawsuit alleges significant negative economic impact and job loss as a result of the cancellation of the permit.
“President Biden’s decision to cancel the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline – which he did not have the authority to do - will kill jobs, burden Missourians with higher energy costs in the midst of a crushing pandemic and increase our reliance on foreign oil. To ensure hard-working Missourians aren’t left behind, I joined 20 other state attorneys general to fight this in court,” said Attorney General Schmitt.
In arguing that President Biden’s actions violated the separation of powers, 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, the power to regulate international and interstate commerce resides with Congress—not the President.”
The lawsuit continues, “In 2011, Congress expressly directed the President to grant the Keystone XL cross-border permit or explain within 60 days why he thought it would disserve the national interest. If the President failed to grant or report his negative recommendations to Congress within 60 days, Congress would grant the Keystone XL permit by operation of law. The President failed to grant the permit or report negative recommendations to Congress within the prescribed time period… because Congress authorized the Keystone XL permit by operation of law, the President sortied far beyond his constitutional precincts by purporting to unilaterally revoke it.”
Further, the lawsuit contends that President Biden’s permit revocation also does not comply with the Administrative Procedure Act, violates the non-delegation doctrine, and is arbitrary and capricious.
The suit also states that President Biden’s decision will cost jobs, earnings, innovation, and tax revenue.
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.
In addition to Attorney General Schmitt, attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming joined the suit.