Attorney General Morrisey Supports Pipeliners, files suit against Biden move to cancel Keystone XL Pipeline

Jackson Newspapers
Jackson Newspapers

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey joined a 21-state coalition in filing suit to block President Joe Biden’s unconstitutional cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, a move that impacts West Virginia jobs and jeopardizes pipeline construction nationwide. 

The Attorney General has maintained the President’s actions to halt production in this instance demonstrate a lack of commitment to pipeliners. He argues pipeline construction is crucial to each state’s vitality, particularly in West Virginia where the state has just begun to tap into its bountiful reserves of natural gas.

“This lawsuit isn’t about one pipeline in the middle of the country, it’s about jobs right here in West Virginia and oil production nationally,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “By eliminating work on the Keystone XL pipeline, the Biden administration has not only jeopardized America’s energy independence, but it has also damaged the nation’s economy and that of every state that benefits from oil and natural gas production.”

The project in question, the Keystone XL pipeline, runs from Montana to Texas transporting raw petroleum to refineries in Houston. Before the Biden administration’s cancellation of the pipeline, experts projected it would directly create 42,100 jobs, plus ancillary jobs from wholesalers and other industry-related companies in states such as West Virginia.

The lawsuit asks the court to declare Biden’s executive order unconstitutional and prevent the administration from taking action to enforce revocation of the necessary construction permit.

The coalition argues that despite several exhaustive, Obama-era studies that concluded the Keystone XL pipeline would boost the nation’s economy, create jobs and safely transport oil throughout the country without increasing greenhouse gas emissions, President Biden revoked the permit via executive order mere hours after reciting his oath of office.

Last summer, Attorney General Morrisey joined in leading an 18-state coalition that urged the U.S. Supreme Court to stay an overly broad, federal district court order related to Keystone XL that improperly blocked oil and natural gas pipeline construction across the country.

That effort succeeded when the coalition won a stay in July at the U.S. Supreme Court, which saved energy sector jobs around the nation.

It became the Attorney General’s second of two major pipeline victories in 2020 at the U.S. Supreme Court. Months earlier, his office presented oral arguments that led justices to clear a legal hurdle that had blocked construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Harrison, Lewis, Upshur, Randolph, and Pocahontas counties.

West Virginia joined the Montana- and Texas-led lawsuit Wednesday with attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. 

Read the lawsuit at bit.ly/3eMX2gq.