AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey led 16 other states in a friend-of-the-court brief filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, decrying a district court’s decision to enjoin not just the Keystone Pipeline project, but also a nationwide permit that would advance new oil and gas pipelines in every state, regardless of their length, purpose or minimal environmental effects. The decision was not just overbroad, it was not requested by any parties in this case.
“Maintaining a stable electrical grid is absolutely vital to the public, and the need for consistent, reliable electricity has been met by the growing production of oil and gas. The successful production and transportation of oil and gas is lifeblood for the states and none of it is possible without a dynamic pipeline network,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The district court incorrectly placed a burden on all pipelines, and that decision must be stayed in order to ensure that ongoing construction continues smoothly and no communities that rely on these growing pipelines are left without utilities vital to their practical and financial survival.”
The coalition of 18 states argue that the disruption, delay, and costs associated with the infrastructure projects demanded in the district court’s decision are significantly more costly and time-consuming, with some becoming completely unfeasible. No amicus states were notified that their own infrastructure projects would be burdened, or even included in this case, which was purported to involve only the Keystone Pipeline. The unrecoverable costs involved with complying with the district court’s order would cause irreparable harm to States and some projects would likely not survive the setbacks imposed by the court.