Months after the executive order enacted on President Biden’s first day in office in which he revoked the permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, twenty-one states led by Texas and Montana filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration. Leading the charge was Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, as well as Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen.
On his first day in office President Biden revoked the permit granted under the Trump administration in 2019 after asserting its inconsistencies with the administration’s “economic and climate imperatives.” Mr. Biden stated that it would not serve the national interest and argued the U.S. should prioritize “the development of a clean energy economy, which will in turn create good jobs.”
The decision has since become a sticking point in ongoing debates over economic development, fossil fuels and environmentalism. Texas officials have stressed concerns over the state’s economic reliance on fossil fuels, despite the global push in the free market towards renewables. Energy experts, however, have expressed a strong conviction that Biden’s policies will have no negative effect on the state’s employment. Dr. Michael Webber, deputy director of the University of Texas Energy Institute and industry expert, argues that adverse effects on production in neighboring states would help production in Texas. Webber’s optimism has been matched by fellow leading industry experts, including Tim Latimer, chief executive of Fervo Energy who reportedly expects massive job creation as companies invest in “unprecedented amounts of construction” to meet the country’s climate goals.
The attorneys general are now arguing the president’s action was an overreach of presidential authority and that revoking the cross-border was a “regulation of interstate and international commerce” that should rest with Congress. Describing the decision as “arbitrary and capricious”, they emphasized the significant loss in tax revenue that would have disproportionate effects on poorer rural areas.
”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 declared. “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.”
The suit is joined by republican attorneys general from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.