PHOTO Courtesy: Jenna Pope
Published January 6, 2016
HOUSTON– TransCanada, the corporation that sought to bring the Keystone XL pipeline, into the United States from Canada has filed a federal lawsuit against President Barack Obama in a federal court in Houston, claiming he violated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the U.S. Constitution when he rejected their application last November. The lawsuit seeks $15 billion in damages.
According to court documents, TransCanada terms President Obama’s rejection as “perverse.” The court filing further stated: “by saying that the pipeline was perceived to be bad for the environment, and the administration had to appease those in the international community who held that (false) belief.”
Typical NAFTA disputes between foreign governments and corporations go before an international tribunal that has the authority to award monetary damages. The international tribunal does not have power to reverse President Obama’s rejection of TransCanada’s application.
“America’s now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change. And frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership. And that’s the biggest risk we face, not acting,” said President Obama on November 6, 2015, the day he rejected TransCanada’s application.
American Indians across Indian Country oppose the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. With the support of several American Indian tribes, the National Congress of American Indians passed a resolution opposing the pipeline in 2011.