TransCanada Keystone Pipeline LP v. Kerry, et al.

U.S. Chamber Urges Texas Federal Court to Hold That the Secretary of State's Prohibition of the Keystone XL Pipeline Was Unconstitutional

U.S. Chamber's Position: 

The U.S. Chamber in a joint amicus brief urged the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to hold that the Secretary of State unconstitutionally prohibited the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have imported oil from Canada for refining in the United States.  Although Congress has repeatedly expressed its support for the pipeline, the State Department claimed that the President’s inherent foreign affairs powers permit the State Department to override Congress’s judgment because, according to the President, the construction of this pipeline might affect the President’s leverage to negotiate a Paris treaty governing greenhouse gas emissions.  

The U.S. Chamber's amicus brief argued that the Department’s assertion of authority in the face of Congress’s express disagreement undermines the separation of powers and upsets the development of sound trade policy.  The brief explained that the structure of our Constitution, and its separation of powers between the Executive and Legislative branches, prohibits the Executive’s sweeping assertion of power over cross-border trade that it has asserted regarding the Keystone XL Pipeline.

The National Association of Manufacturers filed this brief jointly with the Chamber.

Theodore Boutrous, Blaine Evanson, and Sam Eckman of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP served as co-counsel for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce with the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center.

Case Outcome: 

This case has not been decided.