Supreme Court Deals Blow to Environmentalist Left, Reinstates Gas Pipeline

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday greenlighted the resumption of the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s construction, marking a win for the fossil fuel sector while dashing the hopes of environmental campaigners.

The high court’s decision effectively overturns the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals’ stay orders from July 10, which were issued in response to legal challenges by environmental groups seeking to halt the project.

This ruling effectively cancels the stay orders issued on July 10 by the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. These orders were in response to legal actions initiated by environmental groups, Wilderness Society and Appalachian Voices, aiming to stop the pipeline’s construction.

Despite legislative and executive backing for the nearly 95% completed project under the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals halted the pipeline’s construction, as reported by West Virginia Records.

In reaction to the 4th Circuit’s decision, the developers of the pipeline petitioned Chief Justice John Roberts for an emergency intervention. This request was a crucial move to counter the appeal court’s decision, widely seen by industry insiders as overstepping their bounds.

Responses from political leaders quickly followed the Supreme Court’s decision to overrule the lower court’s judgment concerning the development of the Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline.

As Fox News reported, the pipeline’s developer, Equitrans Midstream, will transport approximately 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas daily from West Virginia to the Mid-Atlantic and South Atlantic.

The projected economic benefits include an estimated $40 million in new tax revenue for West Virginia, $10 million for Virginia, and potential royalties up to $250 million for West Virginia landowners. The pipeline construction’s recommencement introduces a contentious period in the continuing national debate surrounding energy, the environment, and economic progress.

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By Melinda Davies
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