The decade's most triggering comedy
The Supreme Court issued a ruling on Thursday allowing construction of a key natural gas pipeline in West Virginia and Virginia after a lower court had previously blocked the building of the pipeline.
Environmental groups had attempted to block construction of the 300-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline, which will connect northwestern West Virginia and southern Virginia. The pipeline’s construction was backed by a wide swath of entities including Congress, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, Democrat Senator Joe Manchin, and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
The Supreme Court ruling followed a decision from the 4th Circuit Court that had temporarily blocked a 3-mile stretch through Jefferson National Forest after the Wilderness Society and Appalachian Voices said construction in that section might lead to water contamination and erosion.
A stipulation approving the pipeline was previously passed by Congress as part of a deal over the debt ceiling.
According to the pipeline’s producers, its construction of the pipeline has created over 2,000 jobs in Virginia and 3,700 in West Virginia. Its creation is also projected to bring in millions of dollars in tax revenue for local and state governments.
Justice, who has filed to run for Senate and challenge Manchin, filed an amicus brief in support of the pipeline.
“West Virginians have been waiting for this project to be completed for years. There are thousands of jobs and tens of millions of dollars in critically important tax revenue to the State of West Virginia at stake. There are significant property rights and hundreds of millions of dollars in royalty revenues to West Virginia property owners at stake,” the governor’s brief said.
Manchin, an occasional critic of the Biden administration’s energy policy, also praised the Supreme Court’s decision.
“The Supreme Court has spoken and this decision to let construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline move forward again is the correct one. I am relieved that the highest court in the land has upheld the law Congress passed and the President signed,” Manchin said in a statement.
Morrisey, who said that the Supreme Court should look at the case, praised the court for its ruling.
“I am pleased the Supreme Court recognized the importance of this project not only for West Virginia, but for the nation,” Morrisey said. “The Mountain Valley Pipeline is vital to the survival of American energy independence and affects thousands of jobs in West Virginia — its completion is also critical to our national security, the urgent need is for it to be completed as soon as possible.”
The pipeline was supported by the Laborers’ International Union of North America, the American Gas Association, and the American Petroleum Institute.