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Virginia, North Carolina lawmakers urge FERC to deny Mountain Valley Pipeline permit

Chris Graham
Mountain Valley Pipeline
Photo: Chris Graham/AFP

A group of Virginia and North Carolina U.S. House members are leading an effort to get the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to deny Mountain Valley Pipeline’s requested extension of its Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the Southgate project.

The certificate is needed for construction of a 73-mile proposed extension of the MVP that would span from southern Virginia into northwestern North Carolina.

A letter from Virginia Democrats Jennifer McClellan and Bobby Scott and North Carolina Democrats Valerie Foushee and Kathy Manning was signed onto by two dozen other House Democrats.

In the letter, the lawmakers points out the potential climate and environmental justice risks from the pipeline, including risks to drinking water quality.

According to the North Carolina Department of Environment Quality, MVP Southgate would impact 301,994 square feet of regulated riparian buffers, 13,986 linear feet of streams, and 12.4 acres of wetlands.

“As Members of Congress committed to addressing the climate crisis, we… urge the Commission to deny an extension of the Certificate for MVP Southgate,” the lawmakers wrote. “If built, this pipeline would lock homes and businesses in the Southeast into the long-term use of natural gas during a critical moment in which we must transition away from fossil fuels to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.”

Since the initial filing for Southgate, Congress has taken action to fight climate change and advance environmental justice through passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. The law invests billions of federal dollars to support residential and commercial alternatives to natural gas.

“In the five years since the Southgate extension was proposed, the energy landscape has continued to evolve, further diminishing the need for additional gas for residential purposes,” the lawmakers wrote. “Clean energy generation continues to grow, and home electrification has become more accessible through the passage of federal climate and clean energy legislation… Given this changed landscape, the Commission should not rely on its previous and now outdated determination that there is a market need for this pipeline.”

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].