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Company Behind Keystone XL Oil Pipeline Sues U.S. Government

The Keystone XL pipeline was intended to connect to this pumping station in Steele City, Neb. Keystone's parent company is suing the U.S. government because President Obama blocked the project. i

The Keystone XL pipeline was intended to connect to this pumping station in Steele City, Neb. Keystone's parent company is suing the U.S. government because President Obama blocked the project. Nati Harnik/AP hide caption

toggle caption Nati Harnik/AP
The Keystone XL pipeline was intended to connect to this pumping station in Steele City, Neb. Keystone's parent company is suing the U.S. government because President Obama blocked the project.

The Keystone XL pipeline was intended to connect to this pumping station in Steele City, Neb. Keystone's parent company is suing the U.S. government because President Obama blocked the project.

Nati Harnik/AP

TransCanada, the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline, is suing the U.S. government because President Obama struck down the next step in the pipeline plan in November. The company says Obama's rejection exceeded his authority under the Constitution, NPR's Jeff Brady reports.

President Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline in November, saying it would not serve U.S. interests. First proposed seven years ago, the project was designed to transport crude oil from Canada's oil sands region down to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

TransCanada's lawsuit not only charges that Obama overstepped, but that he "trampled on Congress's right to regulate interstate and international commerce," Jeff says.

He adds:

"TransCanada also plans to file a $15 billion claim under the North American Free Trade Agreement, arguing it had every right to expect the Keystone XL would be approved because the U.S. had approved similar projects."

The company released the following statement:

"TransCanada's legal actions challenge the foundation of the U.S. Administration's decision to deny a Presidential border crossing permit for the project. In its decision, the U.S. State Department acknowledged the denial was not based on the merits of the project. 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."

Jason Kowalski, the policy director of 350.org, an environmental advocacy group, said this in a statement:

"This won't actually help build the pipeline, too late for that", he said. "It's just a greedy and desperate move by TransCanada to try and salvage some of the money they wasted on this ridiculous boondoggle."

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