WV AG joins 21-state coalition to block cancellation of Keystone XL pipeline

West Virginia

Just hours before now President Joe Biden’s Inauguration Ceremony, Republican West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito criticized one of his executive orders including the Keystone XL pipeline.

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK)—On Thursday, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced that the state has joined a 21-state coalition in filing suit to block President Joe Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline. The suit asks the court to declare the executive order unconstitutional and seeks to protect the necessary construction permit.

The cancellation of the pipeline could impact jobs here in West Virginia and nationwide.

Morrisey said that the halting of production demonstrates a lack of commitment to pipeliners and that the pipeline construction is crucial to West Virginia’s vitality.

“This lawsuit isn’t about one pipeline in the middle of the country, it’s about jobs right here in West Virginia and oil production nationally,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “By eliminating work on the Keystone XL pipeline, the Biden administration has not only jeopardized America’s energy independence, but it has also damaged the nation’s economy and that of every state that benefits from oil and natural gas production.”

The Keystone XL pipeline runs from Montana to Texas and transports raw petroleum to refineries in Houston. The states argue that the pipeline could clearly boost the nation’s economy through the creation of jobs and the production of oil. At one point before the current administration’s cancellation of the pipeline, some experts projected that the project would create over 42,000 jobs directly as well as other ancillary jobs from industry-related companies.

Last summer, West Virginia also led an ultimately-successful, 18-state coalition that asked the Supreme Court to stay a federal district court order related to this pipeline that they argued improperly blocked oil and natural gas pipeline construction across the country. This was the second of two pipeline-related victories for the Attorney General’s office in 2020.

This current lawsuit is led by Montana and Texas. The other states involved are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. 

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