27 July 2023
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed construction to resume on a contested natural-gas pipeline that is being built through Virginia and West Virginia.
Work on the Mountain Valley Pipeline had been blocked by the federal appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, even after Congress ordered the project’s approval as part of the bipartisan bill to increase the debt ceiling. President Joe Biden signed the bill into law in June.
The high court’s order came as a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was hearing arguments in the case.
The Biden administration backed the company in calling for the Supreme Court’s intervention.
Lawyers for the company said they needed quick Supreme Court action to keep plans on track to finish building the 300-mile (500-kilometer) pipeline and put it into service by the winter, when the need for natural gas for heating grows.
Environmental groups have opposed the the $6.6 billion project, designed to meet growing energy demands in the South and Mid-Atlantic by transporting gas from the Marcellus and Utica fields in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Mountain Valley Pipeline said the work is largely complete, except for a 3-mile (5-kilometer) section that cuts through the Jefferson National Forest.