U.S. taxpayers may be liable for billions in damages to the Canadian firm behind the Keystone XL oil pipeline over a lawsuit filed in the wake of President Joe Biden’s arbitrary cancellation of the project which took more than a decade to be approved.
The firm, TC Energy, filed a Notice of Intent with the U.S. State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser “to initiate a legacy North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) claim under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement to recover economic damages resulting from the revocation of the Keystone XL Project’s Presidential Permit.”
TC Energy officially ended the Keystone XL project weeks ago, after Biden canceled it.
“We value the strong relationships we’ve built through the development of this Project and the experience we’ve gained,” said TC Energy President and CEO François Poirier in a statement. “We remain grateful to the many organizations that supported the Project and would have shared in its benefits.”
In canceling the project, Biden said that “leaving the Keystone XL pipeline permit in place would not be consistent with my Administration’s economic and climate imperatives.”
But now, the company is seeking to recover more than $15 billion in costs after the U.S. government’s “breach of its NAFTA obligations.”
According to the Canadian firm, the Keystone XL project would have led to more than 10,000 jobs in the U.S. that were of “high quality” along with “local contracting opportunities.” But a State Department study cited by Fox News put that number higher — about 26,100 jobs when indirect jobs were added to the total.
The administration is also facing a lawsuit over the president’s cancelation from a coalition of 21 states led by Montana and Texas. The suit argues that Biden lacked the singular authority to cancel the project and change energy policy that Congress has set in motion via legislation.
“There is not even a perceived environmental benefit to his actions – his attempt to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline is an empty virtue signal to his wealthy coastal elite donors,” Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen said in a March statement.
“The power to regulate foreign and interstate commerce belongs to Congress – not the President,” he added. “This is another example of Joe Biden overstepping his constitutional role to the detriment of Montanans.”
“It’s a disgrace President Biden played politics and killed the Keystone XL Pipeline to virtue signal to liberal donors and special interest groups,” Knudson later told the Daily Caller.
“The pipeline would have enhanced America’s energy independence while bringing much-needed jobs, tax revenue, and economic development to rural communities in Montana and across the country,” he added.
The suit alleged that while Biden, as president, has authority to act unilaterally in many matters of foreign policy, domestic energy policy set in legislation via Congress and passed into law involving a foreign investment like the Keystone XL project is a different matter.
“The President has certain prerogatives to act on behalf of the United States in foreign affairs,” the lawsuit notes. “But as far as domestic law is concerned, the President must work with and abide by the limits set by Congress—whether he likes them or not.
“This Administration has sought to leverage its power regarding U.S. foreign policy to unilaterally contradict Congress’s stated domestic policy regarding one of the most significant energy projects in a generation: the Keystone XL Pipeline,” it adds.
Montana, Texas, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming are all listed in the lawsuit.
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