2020 Environmental Real Estate Issues

A Texas federal district (trial level) court judge dismissed a suit brought by Texas and 22 other states challenging the validity of President Biden’s revocation of the permit for the Keystone Pipeline. In dismissing the case, the judge held that the case was moot because “Keystone XL is dead.”

No Jurisdiction If Case Is Moot
If a court cannot give meaningful relief to the party suing, no genuine dispute is present, and the matter is moot. Without a genuine dispute, the court lacks jurisdiction.

TC Energy Supported the Government’s Argument of Mootness
The states sued even though TC Energy, owner of the Keystone system, terminated the project rather than challenge the revocation. (See Alert TC Energy and Alberta Announce Termination of Keystone XL Pipeline) TC Energy submitted a friend-of -the court brief stating that even if the court invalidated President Biden’s revocation, the Keystone XL project would neither be constructed nor taken over by another company.

TC Energy may have been concerned that the states’ suit could jeopardize its claim for economic damages caused by the revocation, which TC Energy has made under NAFTA. (See Alert TC Energy Submits Request for NAFTA Arbitration regarding Keystone XL Pipeline)

No Determination If Revocation Was Proper
In dismissing based on mootness, the judge determined the circumstances did not allow the judge to consider if President Biden had authority to revoke the permit in this case.