BILLINGS, Mont. — Attorneys general from 21 states, including Nebraska, are suing to overturn President Joe Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.
Led by Ken Paxton of Texas and Austin Knudsen of Montana, the states maintain that Biden overstepped his authority when he revoked the permit for the Keystone pipeline on his first day in office.
Because the line would run through multiple U.S. states, Congress should have the final say over whether it's built, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Texas.
Construction on the 1,200-mile pipeline began last year after then-President Donald Trump revived the long-delayed project, which had been blocked by the Obama administration.
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, a pipeline supporter, cheered the lawsuit in a post Thursday on Twitter: "We want these great jobs and the property tax revenue the project would bring to our rural communities!"
But Jane Kleeb, founder of the anti-pipeline group Bold Nebraska, said that Republicans continue to use the Keystone XL to push a false narrative that it would provide "energy independence" and be a "panacea" for job creation.
Kleeb added that if Biden didn't have authority to revoke a presidential permit for the pipeline, then the initial Keystone pipeline, approved via the same permit by then-President George W. Bush in 2008, needs to be dug up and removed.
The Keystone XL pipeline was designed to move up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil daily from the oil sand fields of western Canada to Steele City, Nebraska, where it would connect to other pipelines that feed oil refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Biden canceled its permit over longstanding concerns that burning oil sands crude would make climate change worse.
Some moderate Democratic lawmakers also have urged Biden to reverse his decision, including Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana.
Kleeb added that despite the rejection of the Keystone XL, pipeline developer TC Energy is still litigating eminent domain cases against 68 landowners in Nebraska. She said her organization is pressing to get those cases dismissed.
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