PIERRE, S.D. — The attorneys general representing North Dakota and South Dakota joined 19 other states in suing the Biden administration over revocation of the Keystone XL pipeline permit, calling the act a violation of law.

"The Keystone XL Pipeline would reduce emissions, strengthen our energy independence, and generate tax revenue which would benefit the State of South Dakota," read a statement from the office of South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday, March 17, in U.S. District Court in Galveston, Texas, according to the complaint, arguing that Congress — not the Executive Branch — regulates "inter-state and international commerce."

Other states joining the lawsuit include Montana, West Virginia, and Nebraska — all states led by GOP attorneys general.

Until the lawsuit, Republicans in South Dakota had mounted mostly a public relations offensive, making speeches and retweeting articles opposed to Biden's first-day executive action. They say the revocation of a permit necessary for completion of the Canadian-owned oil pipeline into U.S. lands spells doom for communities along the pipeline route that expected a boost in local tax revenues from construction workers.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live
Newsletter signup for email alerts

Biden had said thwarting the pipeline's progression was part of his pledge to create a clean energy economy. In questioning before Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg noted that while the cancellation effectively ended the jobs for hundreds of workers, but added he believed the so-called "green economy" could spur job growth.

"When the books are written about our careers, one of the main things we'll be judged on is whether we did enough to stop the destruction of life and property due to climate change," Buttigieg said.

Buttigieg along with other cabinet secretaries is named in Wednesday's lawsuit.

In February, the Calgary-based TC Energy announced fourth quarter profits $1.1 billion, what it called a "record" amount.