"Mountain Valley Pipeline Halted as Legal Wrangling Heats Up"

"A federal court in Richmond has held up construction, despite a law passed by Congress last month that says it no longer has jurisdiction over the pipeline."

"A federal court in Richmond has halted construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, setting off a battle with Congress that could end up at the Supreme Court.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, released a pair of rulings on Monday and Tuesday to stop work on the project, which is intended to carry natural gas about 300 miles from the Marcellus shale fields in West Virginia across nearly 1,000 streams and wetlands before ending in Virginia.

That was notable because Congress had moved jurisdiction over the pipeline last month from the court in Richmond, where environmentalists have found some success in their decade-long fight, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. It was a highly unusual provision that was tucked into legislation that had nothing to do with pipelines — the law to raise the debt ceiling.

Congress also included provisions to expedite construction of the pipeline and insulate it from judicial review. Those elements were added as a concession to Senator Joe Manchin III, the West Virginia Democrat whose vote has been crucial to President Biden’s domestic agenda."

Coral Davenport reports for the New York Times July 12, 2023.

Source: NYTimes, 07/13/2023