The company behind the Keystone XL pipeline filed a $15 billion lawsuit Friday against the Obama administration under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
TransCanada claimed that Obama spent seven years using “arbitrary and contrived” analyses and justifications to delay the pipeline for political reasons. TransCanada’s suit also says that the company had reason to believe that the pipeline would be approved before it was rejected by the Obama administration in November.
“None of that technical analysis or legal wrangling was material to the administration’s final decision,” TransCanada said in its lawsuit. “Instead, the rejection was symbolic and based merely on the desire to make the U.S. appear strong on climate change, even though the State Department had itself concluded that denial would have no significant impact on the environment.”
President Barack Obama rejected the pipeline due to the perception among environmentalists that it would increase global warming. The Keystone XL pipeline would have increased America’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by less than three-tenths of one percent of the country’s total annual CO2 emissions, according to analysis by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Obama’s own U.S. State Department found that the pipeline wouldn’t make global warming worse, would reduce the risk of an oil spill and create more than 42,000 new jobs. If it had been approved by the Obama administration, Keystone would have sent oil sands from Alberta, Canada to American oil refineries on the Gulf Coast. Republicans pushed Obama to approve the pipeline as it would create jobs.