Description: Challenge to President Trump's revocation of the presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, issuance of a new presidential permit, and authorization of the balance of the 875-mile project in the U.S.
Indigenous Environmental Network v. Trump
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 04/05/2019 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Lawsuit Challenged Constitutionality of President Trump’s New Authorizations for Keystone XL Pipeline. A regional network of indigenous peoples and a regional association of conservation leaders filed a lawsuit on April 5, 2019 challenging actions taken by President Trump on March 29, 2019 to facilitate construction and operation of the Keystone XL Pipeline. The lawsuit challenged the President’s authority to issue a new presidential permit for pipeline facilities at the U.S.-Canada border (President Trump also revoked the presidential permit issued in March 2017) and his authority to authorize the pipeline’s other U.S. facilities, which extend for 875 miles. The plaintiffs asserted that the President lacked authority to issue the presidential permit because the Constitution’s Property Clause granted Congress the authority to regulate federal lands and Congress had directed BLM to manage the property in question (a 1.2-mile segment in Montana on lands administered by BLM). The plaintiffs asserted that the President lacked authority with respect to the balance of the pipeline for three reasons: (1) the pipeline would cross 45 miles of other lands administered by BLM; (2) the authorization conflicted with Congress’s correlative power to regulate foreign and domestic commerce; and (3) the authorization conflicted with executive orders that delegated authority to approve transboundary pipelines such as Keystone XL to the Department of State. The plaintiffs contended that the executive orders required compliance with all applicable laws and that by evading compliance with those laws, the President’s action conflicted with Congress’s correlative power to regulate foreign and interstate commerce. (In Executive Order 13867 issued on April 10, President Trump revoked these executive orders.)