The state responded Monday to a lawsuit filed by three opponents of the pipeline that will carry Canadian tar sands oil across several U.S. states to Gulf coast refineries.
The lawsuit says the state law is unconstitutional because it doesn't allow for judicial review or spell out what criteria should be considered when evaluating a pipeline project.
Three landowners filed the lawsuit. The state argued unsuccessfully in September for the lawsuit to be dismissed.
The Attorney General's Office also contends that the landowners have no rights to assert as taxpayers in this case because no tax money is being spent. TransCanada is required to reimburse the state for the review.