The beleaguered Mountain Valley Pipeline suffered yet another setback Thursday. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously struck down a key project approval, ruling the Fish and Wildlife Service’s cursory approval of the controversial 303-mile gas pipeline was “arbitrary” and “failed to account for the one thing we know about climate change: that it will get worse over time.” The ruling is the third major setback for the project in less than two weeks. The recent rulings show “the previous administration’s rushed, shoddy permitting put the entire project in question,” the Sierra Club’s Kelly Sheehan said in a statement.
Pipeline opponents contend the MVP’s string of losses in federal court should convince investors to abandon the project, which is already well behind-schedule and over-budget. Stock in Equitrans Midstream, the near-majority owner of the MVP, fell to near a 52-week low following the court’s ruling. (S&P Global, Virginia Mercury, The Roanoke Times, West Virginia Public Radio, Reuters, Pittsburgh Business Times $, Courthouse News, Bloomberg Law, Augusta Free Press; Equitrans stock: Seeking Alpha)