The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a decision Thursday finding that Mountain Valley Pipeline construction jeopardizes endangered and threatened species, countering the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s previous findings.
The decision arrives a week after the Fourth Circuit ruled that the MVP cannot cross the Jefferson National Forest, reversing a decision made by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.
The case was brought by Sierra Club on behalf of POWHR Coalition member groups Preserve Giles County and Preserve Bent Mountain, as well as other environmental organizations, including Appalachian Voices, Wild Virginia, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Indian Creek Watershed Association, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, and the Center for Biological Diversity.
“The court sided with sacred life today by acknowledging the harmful impact MVP has on everything in its path, specifically endangered and threatened species,” said Russell Chisholm, co-chair of the Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights (POWHR) Coalition. “Holding MVP accountable to the law is key to the ultimate cancellation of this noxious fracked gas pipeline. This decision not only protects the candy darter and other endangered species, it sets us on course to stop MVP, decisively transition away from deadly fossil fuels, and reroute towards a renewable economy on a livable planet.”
“Today’s is a sweetly welcome decision in our fight to stop the ravage of MVP,” said Roberta Bondurant of Preserve Bent Mountain, a local member group of the POWHR Coalition. “The Bent Mountain community together with our allies, have fought relentlessly, and at unspeakable costs, to protect forest, meadow and waters of our venerable Appalachians. This is a banner day for planet earth—-the Swomee Swan soars, the Humming Fish jumps, and the Truffula Tree breathes a grateful sigh of relief. Long live the Lorax!”
A group named Cancel MVP has sent a letter to MVP’s partners to put pressure on the project’s partners to back out of the pipeline effort.
“The partners behind the Mountain Valley Pipeline must fulfill their fiduciary responsibility by canceling this boondoggle. Equitrans Midstream, NextEra Energy, Consolidated Edison, Alta Gas and RGC Resources have wasted enough of their shareholders’ money on this money pit,” said Freeda Cathcart, founder of the Cancel MVP campaign.