TransCanada filed a lawsuit on Wednesday claiming President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline exceeded his power under the U.S. Constitution. The company is seeking $15 billion in damages stemming from the president’s decision. Obama blocked the cross-border pipeline in November after it was first proposed seven years ago. The company also filed a legal action under the North American Free Trade Agreement, claiming the pipeline permit deal was “arbitrary and unjustified.” The company claims that the Constitution gives Congress the authority to regulate interstate and foreign commerce.
The federal suit, which does not seek legal damages, wants the permit denial invalidated. It also requests no future presidential action be needed for construction to continue. TransCanada’s proposed pipeline would go from Canada through Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska, where it would connect with existing pipelines to carry more than 800,000 barrels of crude oil a day to refineries along the Gulf Coast. Defendants named in the lawsuit are Secretary of State John Kerry, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Secretary of the Department of Interior Sally Jewell. The Keystone XL was designed to link existing pipeline networks in Canada and the United States to bring crude from Alberta and North Dakota to refineries in Illinois and, eventually, the Gulf of Mexico coast.
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