Manchin files amicus brief backing Mountain Valley Pipeline in Supreme Court
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) filed an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court on Tuesday in support of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, hoping to join project developers in the emergency application seeking to vacate the stay that was granted this month by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.
The 4th Circuit handed down the stay without explanation earlier this month, halting construction on the natural gas pipeline (which runs from Manchin’s home state of West Virginia to southern Virginia) and clearing the way for the decision to be appealed to the Supreme Court.
Following the 4th Circuit decision, pipeline developer Equitrans released a statement saying it planned to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, noting that the ruling jeopardizes its plan to complete the pipeline by the end of the year.
In submitting the amicus curiae brief, Manchin reiterated his frustration with the court decision, which he described earlier this month as “‘unlawful.”
“I was proud to help ensure that the Mountain Valley Pipeline would finally be completed through ratification and approval of the project’s permits without further judicial review in the Fiscal Responsibility Act,” Manchin said in a statement. “But, yet again, this vital energy infrastructure project has been put on hold by the Fourth Circuit despite the new law clearly stating that the Fourth Circuit no longer has this authority.”
“It’s a shame when members of Congress have to ask the Supreme Court to intervene to maintain the credibility of the laws that we have passed and the President has signed, but I am confident that the Court will uphold our laws and allow construction of MVP to resume,” the West Virginia senator said.
The construction on the Mountain Valley Pipeline had been stalled for five years by a series of court delays, but it was expedited in the debt ceiling deal negotiated earlier this summer by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and President Joe Biden.
The legislation, which Biden signed last month, directed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to authorize the completion of the pipeline to prevent any litigation that challenged the pipeline.
Once fully operational, the pipeline is expected to have a capacity of 2 billion cubic feet per day.