More than a dozen state attorneys general, led by Montana’s Austin Knudsen, have sent a letter to President Joe Biden blasting his decision to kill thousands of Keystone XL pipeline jobs with the stroke of a pen.
"As the chief legal officers of our states, we write with alarm regarding your unilateral and rushed decision to revoke the 2019 Presidential Permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. Your decision will result in devastating damage to many of our states and local communities. Even those states outside the path of the Keystone XL pipeline—indeed all Americans—will suffer serious, detrimental consequences," they wrote. "In your January 20, 2021 Executive Order, you concluded that the Keystone XL pipeline 'disserves the U.S. national interest.' You supported that determination with vague statements about the 'climate crisis,' how '[t]he world must be put on a sustainable climate pathway,' and that “[t]he United States must be in a position to exercise vigorous climate leadership.' Nowhere, however, do you explain how killing the Keystone XL pipeline project directly advances the goals of 'protect[ing] Americans and the domestic economy from harmful climate impacts.' Nor does your decision actually cure any of the climate ills you reference. Observers are thus left with only one reasonable supposition: it is a symbolic act of virtue signaling to special interests and the international community."
Further they are threatening legal action, warning of the impact on industries outside of oil and gas, and officially urging Biden to reverse his decision.
"Your decision will also disturb other industries Americans rely upon every day. Having cudgeled the energy sector, your decision will increase heating and fuel costs for families and businesses across the country and disrupt other industries including agriculture, transportation, manufacturing, and even the affordability of consumer goods. Americans you were elected to serve will ultimately foot the bill in higher prices, lost jobs, and less security," they said. "We cannot 'Build Back Better' by reflexively tearing down. America needs every tool in her possession to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis stronger and more secure. You have expressed a commitment to unite the Nation. If that is to be more than empty rhetoric, you must fully consider and account for the alarming effects your actions have on states, local communities, families, and workers."
"Please be aware that the states are reviewing available legal options to protect our residents and sovereign interests. In the meantime, we urge you to reconsider your decision to impose crippling economic injuries on states, communities, families, and workers across the country," they concluded.
Meanwhile, the White House has said Biden is open to revoking additional permits for pipelines throughout the country that have already been approved.