The Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline was approved late Monday to cover 3.5 miles of Jefferson National Forest, which is located between West Virginia and Virginia. The pipeline is expected to carry gas approximately 303 miles from Marcellus shale fields in West Virginia to Virginia. The pipeline has been controversial and long delayed. The U.S. Forest Service reissued its approval for a permit, despite past federal appeals court rulings determining developers had “inadequately considered” the project’s environmental impact.
The project, worth $6.6 billion, has been delayed for years due to legal issues and strong opposition from environmentalists, scientists, and many Democrats in Virginia. The 303-mile pipeline would transport natural gas that is drilled in Ohio and Pennsylvania across rugged slopes in the Appalachian Mountains. Environmental groups say construction has led to violations of regulations meant to control erosion and sedimentation.
The decision is seen as a strategic move by the Biden administration to get Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia on board for key policy votes. Manchin is a Democrat who strongly supports fossil fuels and is up for a potentially challenging re-election next year.
Manchin said Tuesday the natural gas line is “a crucial piece of energy infrastructure” that is good for global supply and American energy security. The fact that the U.S. Forest Service has approved construction three times shows “the review has been exceptionally thorough,” he said in a statement.
President Biden needs the support of Senator Manchin and moderate Republicans to pass legislation that is critical for speeding up the construction of renewable energy projects. The decision aligns with Biden’s most recent efforts to support fossil fuels and placate centrists while deflecting Republican criticism about his climate policies undermining American energy security.
The Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project is a natural gas pipeline system that spans approximately 303 miles from northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia – and as an interstate pipeline will be regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The MVP will be constructed and owned by Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC (Mountain Valley), which is a joint venture of EQM Midstream Partners, LP; NextEra Capital Holdings, Inc.; Con Edison Transmission, Inc.; WGL Midstream; and RGC Midstream, LLC. EQM Midstream Partners will operate the pipeline and own a significant interest in the joint venture.
Source: Reuters, Mountain Valley Pipeline
From the TradersCommunity News Desk