TransCanada Sues US Over Pipeline, Wants $15B

Company also wants reversal of 'arbitrary' decision
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2016 12:19 AM CST
Canadians Sue US Over Pipeline Rejection
In this Nov. 3, 2015, photo, the Keystone Steele City pumping station, which the planned Keystone XL pipeline was to connect to, is seen in Steele City, Neb.   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

See you in court, eh? TransCanada, a Canadian company hit hard by President Obama's rejection of its Keystone XL pipeline project, has filed twin lawsuits seeking $15 billion in damages and a reversal of the US decision, the New York Times reports. One lawsuit, filed under the North American Free Trade Agreement, seeks damages because the permit rejection was "arbitrary and unjustified," reports Reuters. The suit claims that Obama overstepped his authority because of his "unprecedented and symbolic grounds" for turning down the project, which he argued would bring "dirtier crude oil into our country" while doing little to boost the American economy.

The second lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Houston, calls for a reversal of Obama's "unconstitutional" decision and a ruling that no future president can block the pipeline project, reports Reuters. A Canadian trade lawyer tells the Globe and Mail that it's tough to predict how these kinds of lawsuits will go, but that TransCanada's argument that it was treated unfairly because the issue had become politicized appears solid. The Times notes that a win for the Canadian company would be unprecedented: In the 22 years of the NAFTA agreement, the US has won all 12 of the challenges it faced from Canadian firms, while US firms have prevailed in trade agreement cases in Canada. (More Canada stories.)

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