TransCanada Sues over President’s Rejection of Keystone Pipeline

A few months after President Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, TransCanada filed suit, seeking $15 billion in damages from the U.S. and at the same time accused the President of exceeding his constitutional authority. It also said the White House violated a historic trade agreement.

“In its decision, the U.S. State Department acknowledged the denial was not based on the merits of the project,” said TransCanada in a statement issued Wednesday when the suit was filed. “Rather, it was a symbolic gesture based on speculation about the perceptions of the international community regarding the administration’s leadership on climate change and the president’s assertion of unprecedented, independent powers.”

TransCanada proposed the Keystone nearly 10 years ago and now wants $15 billion in damages for the “loss of value” of assets related to Keystone. The company also argues the President “intruded on Congress’s power to regulate interstate and international commerce” and disregarded the will of the legislative branch.

The company also filed a challenge under the North AmericanFree Trade Agreement says the president’s decision was “arbitrary and unjustified” and violated part of the landmark trade deal.

The White House would not comment on the lawsuit and the challenge and instead referred questions to the State Department. While the northern leg of the pipeline was rejected by President Obama, the southern leg, the one starting from Cushing, Oklahoma has been in operation since Jan. 23, 2014. That’s the day crude from the Cushing tank farms started flowing south to the Gulf Coast refineries. Despite the protests and claims of environmentalists that the Keystone would create environmental problems, there have been no leaks from the line.

TransCanada wanted to complete the project with construction of the 1,179-mile northern leg that would carry heavy oil from Canada’s oil sands across the border in Montana to a connection at Steele City, Nebraska.


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