Curtis Tate Published

U.S. Forest Service Grants Key Permit For Mountain Valley Pipeline

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

Opponents of the Mountain Valley Pipeline have been able to delay permits for the project. Now one has been approved.

Weeks after it got a favorable environmental review from the U.S. Forest Service, the Mountain Valley Pipeline now has a permit to cross the Jefferson National Forest.

The 3.5-mile segment is key to the completion of the 300-mile, $6.6 billion pipeline.

U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito, and Rep. Carol Miller, have been some of the pipeline’s biggest supporters

“While I’m pleased with the announcement from the Forest Service, the job isn’t done yet,” Manchin said in a statement Tuesday, “and I will keep pushing the administration and all involved to finally complete the last 20 miles of this vital pipeline.”

Environmental and community groups have opposed it because of its potential effects on rivers and streams in West Virginia and Virginia, as well as the climate impacts of producing and burning natural gas.

The pipeline still needs an assortment of other permits before it can be finished. Manchin and Capito have both reintroduced bills to speed up the permitting process for energy projects.

Manchin has criticized the Biden administration’s energy policies in recent weeks, including new limits on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.