TC Energy, the company behind the canceled Keystone XL pipeline, announced over the weekend that it filed a notice of intent to initiate a legacy North American Free Trade Agreement claim under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement to recover economic damages resulting from the revocation of the project’s Presidential Permit.
The company, which said last month that it was scrapping the project after President Joe Biden revoked a key permit on his first day in the White House, told the State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser that it is seeking more than $15 billion from the U.S. government in compensation for losses suffered as a result of the administration’s breach of its NAFTA obligations.
The permit to build a 1,200-mile pipeline intended to carry oil from Canada to the U.S. had been approved by former President Donald Trump early in his term, even though environmental and indigenous groups had argued that the project would fuel climate change and cause other environmental damage, according to The Hill.
In withdrawing the authorization for the project in Janaury, Biden said the pipeline "disserves" the U.S. national interest, adding that "leaving the Keystone XL pipeline permit in place would not be consistent with my administration's economic and climate imperatives."
After Biden’s announcement in January, TC Energy said it had immediately fired 1,000 workers, with Keystone XL President Richard Prior saying that the cancellation of the project sends “a concerning signal to infrastructure developers that resonates far beyond our project and will stifle innovation for a practical transition towards sustainable energy."
In addition, 21 states banded together in March to file a lawsuit against the Biden administration, arguing that the issue of the pipeline should have been decided by Congress, because the permit across borders is a "regulation of interstate and international commerce."
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