Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen is calling on President Joe Biden to reconsider his revocation of a key permit for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and said he and 14 other attorneys general are reviewing available legal options to “protect our residents and sovereign interests.”
Biden revoked the permit on his first day in office. Republicans, and some Democrats, have pushed back on the move while environmentalists have cheered the revocation, arguing that it brought in Canadian oil produced from carbon-intensive tar sands.
Knudsen in a letter to Biden said the decision will “result in devastating damage to many of our states and local communities. … Your decision will eliminate thousands of well-paying jobs, many of them union jobs.”
Montana, he said, stands to lose $58 million in annual tax revenue, which means less money for schools and public services.
Biden said the project “disserves” U.S. national interest and that leaving the permit in place “would not be consistent with any Administration’s economic and climate imperatives.”
Knudsen pushed back, saying high-paying green energy jobs don’t yet exist.
“It’s bad enough for the government to pick winners and losers in the marketplace, but much worse when the winners are aspirational,” he said. “Aspirations don’t put food on the table, or pay the phone bill, or put kids through college. Jobs do, and you eliminated thousands of them with the stroke of a pen.”
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