TransCanada files federal lawsuit over Keystone XL rejection

TransCanada filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday alleging that President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline exceeded his power under the U.S. Constitution.

The company also filed a seperate legal action under the North American Free Trade Agreement, claiming the pipeline permit deal was “arbitrary and unjustified” and sought $15 billion in damages.

In filing a NAFTA claim, TransCanada said it “had every reason to expect its application would be granted,” after it had met the same criteria the U.S. State Department used when approving other similar cross-border pipelines.

“TransCanada has undertaken a careful evaluation of the Administration’s action and believe there has been a clear violation of NAFTA and the U.S. Constitution in these circumstances,” TransCanada spokesman Mark Cooper said in a statement.

Obama blocked the cross-border pipeline in November after it was first proposed seven years ago.

The project had prompted opposition from Native American tribes, some landowners and environmental groups that were concerned the pipeline would contaminate water supplies and contribute to pollution.

The company claims that the Constitution gives Congress the authority to regulate interstate and foreign commerce.

The federal suit, which does not seek legal damages, wants the permit denial invalidated. It also requests no future presidential action be needed for construction to continue.

TransCanada's proposed pipeline would go from Canada through Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska, where it would connect with existing pipelines to carry more than 800,000 barrels of crude oil a day to refineries along the Gulf Coast.

It would move about 100,000 barrels of oil daily from the western North Dakota oil patch.

Supporters say the pipeline would be a boon for the country and would create construction jobs.

Fox News' Kelly Chernenkoff and The Associated Press contributed to this report.