To secure Senator Joe Manchin’s (R-WV) support for the climate and tax reconciliation bill, Democratic leaders promised to pass a law to complete the “Mountain Valley Pipeline,” a highly contested 304-mile pipeline. The project would carry methane gas from the Marcellus shale fields in West Virginia across nearly 1,000 streams and wetlands before ending in Virginia.
The draft bill is reported to require federal agencies to take “all necessary actions” to advance the project, and would take project jurisdiction away from the federal court district where challengers to the legality of the project have found success. Unlike the reconciliation effort, however, this separate piece of legislation would need backing from Republicans to overcome the 60-vote filibuster threshold.
“The price to be paid for Manchin’s vote looks more and more like an oil and gas wish list,” Jean Su, energy justice program director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. “Ramming through the Mountain Valley Pipeline right as people are dying from climate-fueled flooding in Appalachia is callous and horrific.” (Reuters, Virginia Mercury, New York Times $, E&E $)