By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming has joined a multi-state lawsuit in an attempt to block President Joe Biden’s ban of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Wyoming has joined 20 other states in the lawsuit, according to a release from Gov. Mark Gordon’s office on Thursday.
Once the Keystone pipeline was completed, the project was expected to help free up pipeline space in Wyoming, increasing oil export capacity. The project is projected to create 42,100 jobs with $2 billion in associated earnings throughout the United States.
Biden on Jan. 20 issued an executive order revoking the permits for the pipeline.
“The Keystone project was authorized by Congress and would provide economic benefits to multiple states, including Wyoming,” Gordon said. “It’s foolish to think cancelling this pipeline does anything good for the country or climate.
“It will merely shift production offshore to places with lower environmental standards, worse safety records and laxer workforce protections, while at the same time undermining our own domestic energy security,” Gordon said. “Let’s put America first because we do it right.”
The lawsuit states that the decision to provide or withhold permission to construct and operate an oil pipeline across the international border with Canada is an international and interstate commerce regulation.
Essentially, the power to ban the pipeline construction would lie with Congress, not Biden, according to the lawsuit.
Wyoming joined attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
Gordon also issued an executive order asking Wyoming Attorney General Bridget Hill to evaluate all presidential and executive orders for constitutionality and to take actions needed to protect the rights of Wyoming citizens.
Gordon’s order was issued in conjunction with an earlier order that directed state agencies to examine the financial impacts of Biden’s ban on new sales of federal oil and gas leases and the potential legal options available to Wyoming.
“Wyoming must not allow the Federal Government to continue to harm the State and its citizens through Federal Orders,” Gordon said. “We will use all means necessary to ensure we can continue to fund critical services through the responsible development of our oil and gas and other natural resources.”