A group of 21 states came together on Wednesday to file a lawsuit against the Biden administration over the president's decision to halt the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would transport barrels of oil from Canada and Montana to refineries in Texas.
According to the states, President Joe Biden used executive action to undo energy policies Congress passed that went against Biden's climate change agenda.
"The President lacks the power to enact his 'ambitious plan' to reshape the economy in defiance of Congress’s unwillingness to do so. To the extent that Congress had delegated such authority, it would violate the non-delegation doctrine," the lawsuit states. "But Congress has not delegated such authority: It set specific rules regarding what actions the President can take about Keystone XL and when. The President, together with various senior executive officials, violated those rules."
Based on Biden's decision to cancel the Keystone Pipeline, the states say they will see a drastic loss in tax revenue. It's estimated that $4 million in tax revenue will be lost over the span of one-year in counties that would house construction workers building the pipeline. Another $66 million in short-term revenue from sales and uses taxes would be lost across all the states impacted, the lawsuit states.
"The pipeline States, as well as their counties, local communities, and school districts stood to gain tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue from the construction and operation of the Keystone XL," the lawsuit alleges. "The total estimated property tax from the Keystone XL project in the first full year of operations would be approximately $55.6 million spread across 27 counties in just three States—Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska."
Those who are suffering the most from the Keystone's cancelation, according to the states, are "poorer rural areas" that are in desperate need of the additional tax revenue to fund "public and community services."
Texas and Montana brought about the lawsuit. Nineteen other states signed onto the lawsuit including Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.