Pipeline supporters, opponents react to legislation expediting the MVP

Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 7:00 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Supporters of the Mountain Valley Pipeline are savoring a major victory, after Congress approved legislation that could expedite the project.

Opponents are reacting with disappointment and resolve to continue fighting.

The debt limit legislation that passed in the U.S. Senate late Thursday night included the provision designed to fast-track the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

The bill requires federal regulators to issue all permits for the project within weeks, and it limits judicial review.

“I am thrilled that Republicans and Democrats came together to complete the Mountain Valley Pipeline and shore up American energy security,” said Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia).

Senators Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) and Mark Warner (D-Virginia) supported Kaine’s amendment that would have removed the MVP from the legislation, but they ultimately voted for the debt deal after the amendment failed.

Aminah Ghaffar is policy director with the group 7 Directions of Service.

“I was surprised, but not completely shocked that it went through,” Ghaffar told WDBJ7 in an interview Friday afternoon.

She said her group and others will continue to oppose the pipeline project.

“We will absolutely support any challenges on any levels against this thing and continue to fight. If there’s a way to fight this in court we will continue to fight this in court. If there’s a way to fight this on the ground, we’ll continue to support the people who are fighting this on the ground. And we’ll just keep doing everything that we can and hope that we have the outcome that we deserve,” Ghaffar said.

A spokesperson for the Mountain Valley Pipeline said the company is grateful for the support of The White House, as well as Democratic and Republican leaders for “recognizing the MVP as a critical energy infrastructure project.”

The company plans a more extensive statement once the legislation is signed.

Although opponents dispute how long it will take to finish construction, the company said it looks forward to completing the project by the end of the year.