This week, North Dakota joined 20 states suing President Joe Biden’s administration over its removal of the Keystone XL Pipeline permit.
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says initial plans were for the Keystone pipeline to transport as much as 100,000 barrels of Bakken Crude oil, but once the Dakota Access Pipeline was operating, that was no longer necessary.
But with Dakota Access Pipeline now under court scrutiny, North Dakota could need another place for oil to go, and that’s where the Keystone XL pipeline would come in. The crux of the case filed in Texas District Court is that Biden’s move is unconstitutional since it’s Congress’s role to regulate interstate commerce.
Stenehjem also said the revocation of the permit would damage the U.S.’s move toward energy independence and could strain North Dakota’s relationship with Canada, which is where the pipeline begins.
“It is a threat to North Dakota. It’s a threat to all of America and to our energy independence and certainly long term…and not getting it from unstable countries, or bringing it in by tankers in manners that are much less safe than this pipeline coming down from our best friend in the world and are by far biggest trading partner,” Stenehjem said.
Stenehjem says joining the suit is not costing taxpayers any extra money because North Dakota will be participating with lawyers already on staff. Even if the state did need additional help, he says it would be worth it.
Biden’s removal of the pipeline’s permit is one of many executive actions aimed at addressing climate change.