There are two challenges, in fact – a federal lawsuit filed in Texas seeks to overturn the decison and a separate challenge under NAFTA would force the US to compensate TransCanada for $15 billion in losses.
TransCanada charges the decision was abitrary: "In its decision, the US State Department acknowledged the denial was not based on the merits of the project. Rather, it was a symbolic gesture based on speculation about the perceptions of the international community regarding the administration’s leadership on climate change and the president’s assertion of unprecedented, independent powers."
credit: Geoffrey Vendeville / The Gazette
The beat goes on. This week, South Dakota approved a permit for the portion of the Keystone pipeline that would be sited in the state, in spite of Obama’s rejection.
As the NAFTA case proceeds, we’ll get a birds-eye view of how trade agreements work – a preview of what to expect if the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) passes, for example.
The dispute will be heard by an international tribunal of corporate attorneys.
"TransCanada announced today that they are throwing the corporate equivalent of a temper tantrum … in hopes of forcing American taxpayers to pay them billions of dollars to recoup their losses on the ill-fated project that they spent seven years trying to bully the U.S. into letting them build," says Bold Nebraska, 350.org, NRDC, League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, and others. "This lawsuit will not change Keystone’s fate; it will merely serve to remind the American people that companies like TransCanada are working against their interests, and that trade agreements like TPP would only strengthen their ability to do so."
Read our articles, After 20 Years of NAFTA, Do We Want More Trade Agreements?