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Saskatchewan to file amicus brief supporting 21 US states fighting for Keystone XL Pipeline

Saskatchewan says it will be filing an amicus brief in support of 21 American states fighting the country's president's decision to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline. Provided / TC Energy via AP

The Saskatchewan government is showing its support for the 21 American states fighting Joe Biden’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Saskatchewan announced Friday it will be filing an amicus brief, supporting the lawsuit.

“Essentially what’s happened is the attorney general from Montana contacted us to determine whether or not we wanted to participate in the litigation,” said Gordon Wyant, Saskatchewan’s justice minister and the attorney general.

“What they asked us to do is to participate by providing some information in terms of what the economic impact would be to the province of Saskatchewan as a result of the cancellation.”

Read more: Canada continues to ‘make the case’ for Keystone XL to Biden’s team, feds say

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United States President Joe Biden revoked the permit for the pipeline when he signed an executive order on Jan. 20.

In response to his decision, Texas, Montana and 19 other states began litigation against the Biden administration on March 17.

Those states argue Biden’s decision to cancel the permit is unconstitutional mainly because the regulation of interstate and international commerce resides with Congress, not Biden.

“The cancellation of this pipeline will have a significant negative impact on resource sector jobs in Saskatchewan and across North America,” Wyant said.

“It will ultimately make the U.S. more dependent on rail for Canadian oil imports, which costs more, emits more greenhouse gases, and presents a larger risk to the environment.”

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The province says an amicus brief in U.S. law is similar to filing for intervener status in Canadian courts.

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It says it will hire an American law firm to prepare and file the brief on Saskatchewan’s behalf by early June.

The brief will focus on how the decision to cancel the pipeline will impact Saskatchewan’s economy and people.

“The states very much thought that being able to provide some economic data in terms of the effect of the pipeline cancellation would be helpful for their case,” Wyant said.

“We did some work on that and we felt that given their request…we’re more than happy to provide it.”

Read more: Biden plans to block Keystone XL pipeline with day 1 order, documents show

Opposition Leader Ryan Meili recognizes the importance of continuing the pipeline, but questions the impact Saskatchewan can have on Biden’s decision.

“I don’t know what role the province has in particular, just given their history with sort of chasing fruitless legal challenges,” Meili said.

“How much provincial dollars are we going to spend on something that we’re unlikely to have a great influence on?”

First proposed in 2008 by TC Energy, then known as TransCanada Corporation, the pipeline is intended to originate in Alberta, passing through Saskatchewan before entering into the United States at the Montana border.

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Keystone XL Pipeline is expected to deliver 830,000 barrels of oil produced in Alberta and Montana to refineries in Texas, resulting in a significant boost to the Canadian resource sector.

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