Curtis Tate Published

‘It’s Over.’ Supreme Court Has Had Final Word On Pipeline, Capito Says

An aerial photo of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. The unfinished project is seen in a trench in the middle of a green forest.
An aerial photo of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
Mountain Valley Watchers

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday overruled an appeals court decision that temporarily halted construction on the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

The pipeline’s builders filed an emergency application with Chief Justice John Roberts earlier this month following two rulings from the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that brought the project to a standstill.

Thursday’s ruling didn’t explain why Roberts overruled the Fourth Circuit, but the pipeline’s supporters noted that Congress had called for the project’s completion and required that any further legal challenges take place in the D.C. Circuit rather than the Fourth Circuit.

“It’s over,” said U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-West Virginia. “And so it’s time to admit that fact and move on at the Fourth Circuit. Congress has spoken.”

Environmental groups and landowners have challenged the federal permits for the 300-mile natural gas pipeline, and the Fourth Circuit has put the project on hold multiple times.

West Virginia’s lawmakers in Congress included language in last month’s Fiscal Responsibility Act that expedited completion of the $6.6 billion pipeline.