Ashley Moody Joins Legal Challenge to Biden’s Order Canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline

This week, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced she is joining more than 20 other state attorneys general in suing the federal government over President Joe Biden issuing an executive order canceling the building of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

With the support of U.S. Rep. Neal Dunn, R-Fla., Moody weighed in on the legal action on Wednesday.

“Minutes after taking the oath of office, President Biden signed an unlawful executive order reversing an Act of Congress and eliminating Florida jobs. His order, halting construction of the Keystone Pipeline, is not only a jobs killer, it risks our nation’s energy independence and national security—we all saw last month how quickly losing access to just one pipeline can cause chaos and uncertainty in a large portion of our country,” Moody said.

“I recently met with Congressman Neal Dunn, who has been speaking with Floridians in his district who lost work because of Biden’s reckless order. We must help these Floridians get back to work. That is why, I am joining attorneys general from across our country to put an end to President Biden’s unlawful executive order and resume construction of the Keystone Pipeline to get Floridians back to work, increase our energy independence and enhance our national security,” Moody added.

“Shutting down the Keystone XL project was a huge mistake,” Dunn said. “While the pipeline project is over a thousand miles away, the impact is now in our backyards as Floridians in the Second District have lost their jobs because of the Biden Administration’s decision. I’m grateful that Attorney General Moody is joining the Keystone XL lawsuit to preserve Florida’s wide array of opportunities and fight back against the Biden administration’s job killing-policies.”

“According to the attorneys general complaint, Biden’s order blocking the construction and operation of the pipeline is ‘contrary to law and an affront to the Constitution’s separation of powers,’ as Congress expressly permitted the project in the 2011 Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act. Further, Biden’s permit revocation and the administration’s attempts to carry it out do not comport with the Administrative Procedure Act, violate the non-delegation doctrine and are arbitrary and capricious.” Moody’s office noted. “The lawsuit asks the court to declare the section of Executive Order 13990 canceling KXL’s cross-border permit unconstitutional and unlawful, and seeks to prevent the Biden administration from taking any action to enforce the permit revocation.”

Moody joined attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming in offering the challenge.

As Moody noted, Biden issued the executive order during the first hours of his presidency.

“In 2015, following an exhaustive review, the Department of State and the president determined that approving the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would not serve the U.S. national interest.  That analysis, in addition to concluding that the significance of the proposed pipeline for our energy security and economy is limited, stressed that the United States must prioritize the development of a clean energy economy, which will in turn create good jobs.  The analysis further concluded that approval of the proposed pipeline would undermine U.S. climate leadership by undercutting the credibility and influence of the United States in urging other countries to take ambitious climate action,” Biden announced in the order.

“Climate change has had a growing effect on the U.S. economy, with climate-related costs increasing over the last four years,” Biden continued. “Extreme weather events and other climate-related effects have harmed the health, safety, and security of the American people and have increased the urgency for combatting climate change and accelerating the transition toward a clean energy economy.  The world must be put on a sustainable climate pathway to protect Americans and the domestic economy from harmful climate impacts, and to create well-paying union jobs as part of the climate solution.

“The Keystone XL pipeline disserves the U.S. national interest.  The United States and the world face a climate crisis.  That crisis must be met with action on a scale and at a speed commensurate with the need to avoid setting the world on a dangerous, potentially catastrophic, climate trajectory.  At home, we will combat the crisis with an ambitious plan to build back better, designed to both reduce harmful emissions and create good clean-energy jobs.  Our domestic efforts must go hand in hand with U.S. diplomatic engagement.  Because most greenhouse gas emissions originate beyond our borders, such engagement is more necessary and urgent than ever.  The United States must be in a position to exercise vigorous climate leadership in order to achieve a significant increase in global climate action and put the world on a sustainable climate pathway.  Leaving the Keystone XL pipeline permit in place would not be consistent with my administration’s economic and climate imperatives,” Biden continued.


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