Wyoming joins 20 states in lawsuit to block cancelation of Keystone Pipeline

WYOMING — Wyoming has joined 20 other states in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the decision by the Biden Administration to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline project.

According to the governor’s office, once the Keystone pipeline was completed, the project was expected to help free up pipeline space in Wyoming. The project is estimated to create 42,100 jobs with $2 billion in associated earnings throughout the United States.

“The Keystone project was authorized by Congress and would provide economic benefits to multiple states, including Wyoming,” Governor Gordon said. “It’s foolish to think canceling this pipeline does anything good for the country or climate. It will merely shift production offshore to places with lower environmental standards, worse safety records and laxer workforce protections, while at the same time undermining our own domestic energy security. Let’s put America first because we do it right.”

Despite the governor’s economic claims, a 2018 report found that Wyoming was the largest single contributor of greenhouse gasses from fossil fuels extracted from federal lands.

The estimates for the decade between 2005-2014, a period before coal companies saw significant loss of demand, showed that fossil fuels extracted from Wyoming were responsible for 57% of greenhouse gasses emitted from oil, gas, and coal mined from federal lands nationwide.

The lawsuit states, “The decision to provide or withhold permission to construct and operate an oil pipeline across the international border with Canada is a regulation of international and interstate commerce. Under the Constitution, this power resides with Congress.”

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

The Governor has also issued an executive order requesting the Attorney General evaluate all Presidential and Executive orders for constitutionality and to take actions to protect the rights of Wyoming citizens.

The order is in conjunction with an earlier order that directed state agencies to examine the financial impacts of President Biden’s ban on new sales of federal oil and gas leases and the potential legal options available to Wyoming.

“Wyoming must not allow the Federal Government to continue to harm the State and its citizens through Federal Orders,” Governor Gordon said. “We will use all means necessary to ensure we can continue to fund critical services through the responsible development of our oil and gas and other natural resources.”

Executive Order 2021-5 states that Department of the Interior Secretarial Order 3395 and President Biden’s Executive Order 14008 appear to be examples of federal overreach and prevent Wyoming from properly managing its affairs within the state’s boundaries. It directs state agencies to “use all civil methods and lawful powers to protect Wyoming’s interests and preserve our ability to direct matters within our own borders without unlawful interference from the federal government.

Executive Order 2021-5 is attached and may be found on the Governor’s website.

About The Author

Buckrail @ Jacob

Jacob Gore was born and raised in Cheyenne, the capital city of Wyoming. As a proud Wyomingite, he loves to share his home with visitors from around the world. Spending years in Jackson and Alaska as an interpretive nature guide, he remains a photographer, traveler, storyteller, and avid hobbyist of all-things outdoors. Jacob enjoys bridging the connection between Jackson and the rest of the state.

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