Dan Gilmore / January 7, 2016

TransCanada Challenges Obama’s Keystone Ruling

“The denial was not based on the merits of the project.”

After five years, the Obama administration rejected the proposed Keystone XL pipeline ahead of December’s Paris Climate Summit (gotta look good going into an international meeting like that). On Wednesday, TransCanada Corp., the company that proposed the pipeline, sued the Obama administration in Huston Federal court, saying Barack Obama exceeded his authority when his administration rejected the project. It’s a surreal situation when a foreign company — only here to make money — challenges the federal government to say that it broke the law. “In its decision, the U.S. State Department acknowledged the denial was not based on the merits of the project,” the company said in a statement. “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 argued that Obama overstepped his authority when he said he had power over the project because it crossed international borders. Instead, the company argued, Congress keeps the power to regulate interstate commerce and neither the Constitution nor the North American Free Trade Agreement gives Obama that power. Knowing the Obama administration’s track record in the courts, we might be hearing more about the Keystone XL pipeline in the future.

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