As you likely recall, on his first day in office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order halting construction on the Keystone XL pipeline. While the move won immediate praise from his “keep it in the ground” supporters on the far left, tens of thousands of families whose livelihoods depended on all of the jobs the project created were clearly let down. Since that time, however, the Attorneys General in numerous affected states have filed lawsuits against the administration, claiming that this action was a clear breach of previously established agreements and a significant overreach of executive power. This week, two more states joined in the lawsuit parade. From opposite corners of the continent, Alaska and Florida will now throw their weight behind the effort to have the courts rein in Biden’s power grab. (Washington Examiner)
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 AG from Montana pointed to recent events that will make Biden’s position on this subject more tenuous, potentially becoming a factor in the court battles to come. When the Colonial Pipeline was shut down by a ransomware attack, gas prices began rising significantly within days. In fairly short order, lines of drivers were backing up as some gas stations ran out of fuel. (Despite CNN’s best efforts to deny it initially.) And that was the chaos that resulted from a single pipeline shutting down.
If this experience proves anything, it’s that we still need more oil and gas infrastructure, not less. That’s the point that Montana AG Austin Knudsen was making during the announcement. The day may come when we figure out how to produce enough renewable energy and alternate fuel sources such as helium to keep the nation humming, but we are nowhere near that stage yet. You can cripple significant parts of the country with one failure on that scale.
Even leaving aside the pressing need to maintain our energy infrastructure, there are legal considerations here. Companies invested vast amounts of money into the Keystone XL project, depending on the good faith of the U.S. Government to honor its commitments. Every employer up and down the supply chain that supports an endeavor of this magnitude is now taking it on the chin. And so are all of the people who will be finding themselves unemployed just as the rest of the country returns to work as the pandemic eases.
In an effort to please his environmentalist and climate alarmist base, Joe Biden came into office attempting to emulate his old boss by ruling via the pen and the phone. Once the courts get done with this mess, he may find that running the country that way isn’t as easy as it looks.
ThinkCivics researches, examines, and reports on issues that matter most. We deliver explanative, fearless, and insightful analysis for public consumption.