Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sues Biden administration demanding reinstatement of Keystone XL Pipeline permit

A depot used to store pipes for Transcanada Corp’s planned Keystone XL oil pipeline is seen in Gascoyne, North Dakota, on Nov. 14, 2014 || Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Cullen
A depot used to store pipes for Transcanada Corp’s planned Keystone XL oil pipeline is seen in Gascoyne, North Dakota, on Nov. 14, 2014 || Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Cullen

Twenty-one states, led by Texas and Montana, filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Biden Administration for revoking a permit for the long-disputed Keystone XL pipeline.

The complaint, filed in a Texas federal district court by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, argues the president exceeded his authority in doing so, and that the decision rests with Congress.

Biden canceled the pipeline’s permit on his first day in office, in an executive order that raised concerns about climate change.

He said the permit was inconsistent with his administration’s economic and climate imperatives.”

President Donald Trump granted a permit in 2019. The Obama administration denied one in 2015.

The project was supposed to move Canadian crude to the U.S. — and on to Texas Gulf Coast refineries. But it has been a flashpoint in fights over economic development, fossil fuels, and environmentalism.

According to the complaint, the states expect cancellation of the pipeline would lead to a significant loss in tax revenue — that would have particularly benefited “poorer rural areas.” The project was expected to create high-paying union jobs in several states, the complaint says.

In February, Paxton and 13 other attorneys general sent a letter asking Biden to reinstate the permit, citing the possible loss of thousands of jobs.