Last November, the Obama administration officially rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline after nearly a decade under review. While not a “decision document,” the State Department’s 2014 assessment noted that the environmental impact of this project would be minimal. Now, TransCanada is suing the Obama administration for violating the North American Free Trade Agreement, calling their rejection of the pipeline “perverse” (via Politico):
The Canadian company behind the Keystone XL pipeline filed two legal challenges against President Barack Obama on Wednesday, contending he violated NAFTA and the U.S. Constitution when he rejected the project in November.
The legal challenges are unlikely to undo the rejection by Obama, but they may yet revive the lengthy political battle over the controversial Canada-to-Texas pipeline that shook up the oil industry and helped the White House cement its environmental legacy.
TransCanada Corp.'s filing of a federal lawsuit and legal notification that it planned to seek more than $15 billion in damages under NAFTA were hardly unexpected, and State Department officials had been keenly aware of the legal threats during their seven-year-plus review of Keystone.
But the company's decision still stands to stress Obama's relations with his northern neighbor as he prepares a state dinner for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was elected just weeks before the president rejected Keystone as incompatible with the fight against climate change.
In its legal filing stating its intent to sue under NAFTA, TransCanada slams Obama's Keystone rejection as "perverse."
Before the official rejection, the seven-year delay on Keystone cost us $175 billion in economic activity.