Attorneys general from 21 states are suing to overturn President Joe Biden's cancellation of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.
In the lawsuit filed Wednesday, led by Ken Paxton of Texas and Austin Knudsen of Montana, the states said President Joe Biden had 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 states, Congress should have the final say over whether it's built, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Texas.
"Revocation of the Keystone XL pipeline permit is a regulation of interstate and international commerce, which can only be accomplished as any other statute can: through the process of bicameralism and presentment," the states argued in their complaint.
"The president lacks the power to enact his 'ambitious plan' to reshape the economy in defiance of Congress' unwillingness to do so."
The attorneys general argued Congress set rules for the actions the president can take regarding Keystone, and Biden and senior members of his administration flouted those rules.
Paxton accused Biden of acting "with complete disregard for the constitutional limits on his power."
While the Obama administration denied permits for the pipeline, former President Donald Trump approved construction of the 1,200-mile pipeline in 2019, and work began last year.
Designed by TC Energy Corporation to move daily approximately 830,000 barrels of oil — 35 million gallons of crude — from Canada and Montana to the Gulf Coast of Texas, the Keystone XL pipeline is part of a larger system of lines and would run through several states, CBS News noted.
In his order effectively ending the pipeline, Biden said it wouldn’t serve the national interest and argued the nation should prioritize "the development of a clean energy economy, which will in turn create good jobs."
But his order has left hundreds of workers unemployed; TC Energy estimated nearly 1,000 employees were laid off as a result of the action, CBS News reported.
Some moderate Democratic lawmakers also have urged Biden to reverse his decision, including Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana.
In a letter sent to Biden on Feb. 9, Manchin — who holds the chairmanship of the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee — argued pipelines are the "safest mode to transport our oil and natural gas resources and they support thousands of high-paying, American union jobs."
"I encourage you to reconsider your decision to revoke the cross-border permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline and take into account the potential impacts of any further action to safety, jobs, and energy security," he wrote.
Other Biden allies were also displeased, including AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.
“It …will cost us jobs in the process,” Trumka told Axios. “I wish he had paired that more carefully with the thing that he did second by saying here’s where we’re creating jobs.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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