Developers of the already behind schedule and over-budget Mountain Valley Pipeline are hoping to head off mounting opposition to the controversial 300-mile project by promising to “offset” the greenhouse gas pollution caused by the gas pipeline’s future operations. The offsets will not cover any methane releases from the extraction of the gas in West Virginia, nor any climate pollution resulting from the combustion of that gas by eventual consumers. The Monday announcement follows news the EPA urged the Army Corps of Engineers to reject a key water permit for the Mountain Valley Pipeline over concerns about hundreds of stream and wetland crossings along the route. Environmental advocates panned the announcement as greenwashing.
“Decision makers and the public should not be fooled: this offset scheme does nothing to change the fact that [the Mountain Valley pipeline] is a dirty fossil fuel project that would pollute our communities and exacerbate the climate crisis,” Patrick Grenter, an associate director with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign, said in a statement. (Politico Pro $, Roanoke Times, Pittsburgh Business Times, Charleston Gazette-Mail)