OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Joe Biden appears to be more concerned with being woke than he does with taking care of the United States’ energy independence and jobs, and now he is paying the price.
More than twenty states are dragging the Biden administration to court over his decision to shut the Keystone pipeline, The Washington Examiner reported.
“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,” Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen said as he announced that Alaska and Florida have joined the lawsuit.
He said that consumers would benefit the most by construction of the pipeline and have been damaged the most by its closing.
“The fallout from the Colonial pipeline cyberattack made it very clear that we need more energy infrastructure, not less. The Keystone XL would get more oil, including Montana oil, to American refineries to be sold to American consumers,” the attorney general said.
“We will continue to fight to this federal overreach, along with the 22 other states, so that Montanans can benefit from the jobs, tax revenue, and enhanced energy independence the Keystone XL will bring to our communities,” he said.
When Biden entered the White House one of his first acts was the cancel the permit for the pipeline, which was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump.
The Montana Attorney General’s office noted that former President Obama had concluded that the pipeline would create jobs and help the economy.
“Several exhaustive studies undertaken by the Obama State Department concluded the Keystone XL pipeline would boost the U.S. economy, create American jobs, and safely transport oil throughout the country without increasing greenhouse gas emissions,” the office said.
The Keystone XL pipeline would cross into the United States in northern Montana and pass through six counties – five of which are designated as high-poverty areas – before proceeding through South Dakota and terminating in Nebraska where it would connect to other existing Keystone pipelines that travel to state-of-the-art refining centers predominantly along the Gulf Coast. Seventeen areas in the proposed project area were identified as minority and/or low-income populations.
Approximately 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day would be transported from where it is produced in Canada and Montana to a large refining hub near the Gulf Coast and supplement refining capacity in Illinois, ensuring a reliable domestic and global energy source, bolstering U.S. energy independence and global leadership.
Communities along its path would be infused with tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue, a transformative amount for low-population areas like McCone County, Montana. State and local tax collections in Montana were expected to exceed $65 million annually.
Additionally, an estimated 42,100 jobs with $2 billion in associated earnings throughout the United States would be created, including 3,700 direct construction jobs in Montana garnering approximately $127 million in employment earnings.
Last week a federal judge overrode the objections of the Biden administration and allowed the lawsuit, challenging a president’s authority on issuing cross border permits, to continue.
“Although President Biden revoked the 2019 Permit, the possibility remains that he, or a future president, could issue unilaterally another permit,” Chief Judge Brian Morris of the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana said, E&E News reported.
He said that the January 20 order does not preclude the government from reinstating the permit later.
“In fact, President Biden exercised such unilateral and unchecked authority in his revocation of the 2019 Permit,” Morris, who was appointed by former President Obama, said. “That revocation included no mention of the lawfulness of the underlying 2019 Permit, but instead noted that the 2019 Permit ‘disserves the U.S. national interest.'”