ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The proposed debt ceiling deal would immediately approve authorizations and permits for the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a project that has been delayed by several lawsuits and environmental scrutiny.
In Roanoke, Soil and Water Conservation District director Freeda Cathcart opposes the pipeline and says she doesn’t expect the provision to stick.
“People are working very hard to protect our interests, they’ve done it before and I think they’ll be successful again,” she said. “To take away environmental protections and judicial review for this project sets a terrible precedent.”
Virginia Congresswoman Jennifer McLellan introduced an amendment on May 30 to the House Rules Committee to remove the MVP permitting provision. The House Rules Committee advanced the debt ceiling deal and budget bill on Tuesday night. However, Sen. Tim Kaine is also set to submit an amendment in the U.S. Senate to remove the pipeline plans.
His team released a statement on Monday.
“Senator Kaine is extremely disappointed by the provision of the bill to greenlight the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline in Virginia, bypassing the normal judicial and administrative review process every other energy project has to go through. This provision is completely unrelated to the debt ceiling matter. He plans to file an amendment to remove this harmful Mountain Valley Pipeline provision.”
Meanwhile, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who introduced legislation last year to finish the project, applauded the provision calling the pipeline “critical” and touting its value for America’s energy independence.
Natalie Cox, spokesperson with Equitrans Midstream, the company leading the pipeline, also celebrated the project’s fast-tracking saying the MVP has faced “an unprecedented level of legal and regulatory review.”