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The Keystone Pipeline fiasco is a tour de force in executive overreach... and the American people have had enough

Published in Blog on June 14, 2021 by Convention Of States

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The Keystone Pipeline project is dead. After President Joe Biden revoked the main developer's license to build, the company decided to pack it in. The Biden administration's decision cost the U.S. thousands of jobs and hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil per day from Canada, one of our closest allies.

But if we take a step back, there's an even larger problem with Biden's unilateral decision: it was made entirely without the approval of the American people. 

As a Convention of States Action/Trafalgar poll showed, 61.9% of Americans support pipelines as part of American infrastructure. Nearly 36% say pipelines are a “critical part” of our country’s infrastructure and should be “expanded and protected.” An additional 26% say pipelines are “very reliable” for transporting energy products and better for the environment than trucks, trains, and ships.

It’s not just Republicans. According to the poll, 45.3% of Democrats support pipelines with 24% calling them “critical.”

Even if Biden had the support of everyday Americans, he and presidents before him still shouldn't be allowed to unilaterally make decisions like this. As Reason's Ronald Bailey outlined in a recent op-ed, executive overreach makes it more difficult for individuals and businesses to make good decisions:

The machinations around the Keystone Pipeline project highlight how modern American politicians have become adept at bending ostensibly fair and transparent bureaucratic procedures to justify decisions that they have already made. The result is that citizens and companies increasingly cannot count on the stability and certainty of the law when making decisions about their lives and businesses. Ever-expanding administrative autocracy is the opposite of the rule of law.

Americans have had enough of this "ever-expanding administrative autocracy." Unfortunately, presidents from both parties will never willingly give up their own power. Even President Trump, who did as much as he could to drain the swamp, did not limit his power to pass executive orders.

If Washington won't limit its own power, then we must do it for them. Article V of the Constitution allows We the People to propose constitutional amendments that limit the power, scope, and jurisdiction of the federal government. A wide variety of amendments fall into this category, but among the most popular is an amendment outlawing executive orders.

Such an amendment would prohibit the president and his agencies from making decisions without approval of the people's representatives in Congress. Presidents would no longer have the power to enact and reverse executive orders on a whim, and individuals, businesses, and the American economy would benefit from that stability.

Most importantly, this amendment would restore our country to the limited government framework the Founders intended. They fought a war to end the executive overreach of the king, and they would be horrified to see what President Biden did to the Keystone Project, along with all of his other executive orders. That's why we must use the tool the Founders gave us in Article V of the Constitution and call a Convention of States.

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Almost everyone knows that our federal government is on a dangerous course. The unsustainable debt combined with crushing regulations on states and businesses is a recipe for disaster.

What is less known is that the Founders gave state legislatures the power to act as a final check on abuses of power by Washington, DC. Article V of the U.S. Constitution authorizes the state legislatures to call a convention for proposing needed amendments to the Constitution. This process does not require the consent of the federal government in Washington, DC.

I support the Convention of States Project; a national effort to call a convention under Article V of the United States Constitution, restricted to proposing amendments that will impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit its power and jurisdiction, and impose term limits on its officials and members of Congress.

I want our state to be one of the necessary 34 states to pass a resolution calling for this kind of Article V Convention. You can find a copy of the model resolution and the Article V Pocket Guide (which explains the process and answers many questions) here:

I ask that you support the Convention of States Project and consider becoming a co-sponsor of the resolution. Please respond to my request by informing the national COS team of your position, or sending them any questions you may have: or (540) 441-7227.

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Respectfully, [Your Name]

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