AG Knudsen Leads 20 Other States in Keystone Pipeline Lawsuit
Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen announced Wednesday that Montana and 20 other states are filing suit in federal court to stop President Biden from cancelling the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
“Montana stepped up and we've taken the lead in this lawsuit,” said Knudsen. “We filed in Texas District Court Texas agreed to co-lead with us. But look, we've got 20 other states on board with this. There are 20 states that recognize the value of this project and how important it is to states like Montana and our economy, and that President Biden doesn't get to act unilaterally like this. He's not a king.”
Knudsen said a federal court can step in and force the issue before President Biden.
“A federal judge can, and that's where this is going to start,” he said. “I think it's very likely to work its way through the circuits and possibly end up with the U.S. Supreme Court, but right now we're in front of a federal district court judge. And that's exactly what we're going to be asking this judge to do. Look, the regulation of foreign and interstate commerce is a power reserved to Congress under the Constitution, not to the executive. That means the President's actions here are blatantly unconstitutional.”
Knudsen said even former President Obama allowed the pipeline to move forward during his time in office.
“President Obama had his chance to veto this,” he said. “This project was actually approved by congressional legislation in 2011, and President Obama did not veto it, so then only Congress can undo a congressional action. Joe Biden doesn't get to step in here a decade later and veto this project, so we feel really good about our legal position in this case.”
Knudsen said a federal lawsuit must take it’s time to rise perhaps to the level of the U.S. Supreme Court.
“We're hoping to get this thing moving as fast as we can,” he said. “I've had my staff working on this very diligently, working late hours trying to get this thing put together and get the best legal argument that we can. Obviously, it was good enough that there are 20 other states that decided to jump on with this. But, of course system is slow. I would love to tell people in McCone County that we're going to have to figure it out in a week but that's just not realistic. This is going to take some time to work through the federal system.”
President Biden cancelled the Keystone XL Pipeline on his first full day in office via an executive order.
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