Two more attorneys general have announced their respective states are joining a lawsuit against the Biden administration and its “illegal” cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline.
“The Constitution is clear that presidents do not have the power to regulate foreign and interstate commerce or to unilaterally undo an act of Congress,” said Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, announcing that Alaska and Florida are joining the legal fight.
In the statement, Knudsen said U.S. consumers would benefit the most by the construction of the pipeline — and are subsequently hurt the most by its cancellation.
“The fallout from the Colonial pipeline cyberattack made it very clear that we need more energy infrastructure, not less. The Keystone XL would get more oil, including Montana oil, to American refineries to be sold to American consumers,” he said.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor were added to a complaint filed with the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas on Thursday, bringing the total number of states in the lawsuit to 23.
“We will continue to fight to this federal overreach, along with the 22 other states, so that Montanans can benefit from the jobs, tax revenue, and enhanced energy independence the Keystone XL will bring to our communities,” the Montana attorney general said.
The lawsuit comes after Biden signed an executive order on his first day in office terminating the pipeline’s construction permit, which was initially approved by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump.
The Montana attorney general’s office said Biden’s old boss, President Barack Obama, already concluded that the Keystone XL project would generate new jobs and help boost the economy.
“Several exhaustive studies undertaken by the Obama State Department concluded the Keystone XL pipeline would boost the U.S. economy, create American jobs, and safely transport oil throughout the country without increasing greenhouse gas emissions,” it said.
Advocates for the pipeline also suggest the approximately 830,000 barrels of crude oil that would pass from Canada to the Gulf Coast would boost America’s energy independence.