On July 27, the Supreme Court approved a petition to revoke a lower court’s injunction that had stopped the progress of the Mountain Valley Pipeline initiative. This decision enables the resumption of construction for the project, according to a report by CBS News.
In a concise ruling, the Court invalidated the temporary halts that had been enforced by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. These halts were related to lawsuits filed by different environmental organizations that were against the pipeline’s construction, as the pipeline plans to move natural gas from West Virginia to Virginia. The Court’s ruling did not include any recorded disagreements.
In a declaration the previous Thursday, Jamie Williams, who serves as the head of the Wilderness Society and is one of the parties bringing the lawsuit, pledged that the environmental organization would utilize all available means to prevent the progress of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Williams asserted that permitting the construction to move forward would prioritize financial gain “ahead of the health and safety of Appalachian communities.”
The construction of the project received authorization from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2017. Despite this, the initiative has faced numerous legal obstacles presented by environmental organizations. Nonetheless, a significant portion of the pipeline has already been finished.
The Supreme Court considered two lawsuits filed by the Wilderness Society and a collaborative alliance of ten environmental organizations. In both instances, the parties initiating the lawsuits had appealed to the 4th Circuit to assess the permissions granted in 2023 by the Bureau of Land Management, the US Forest Service, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. These permissions had sanctioned the building of a 3.5-mile segment of the pipeline within the Jefferson National Forest.
Subsequent to the issuance of the authorizations, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted its endorsement for construction to recommence in late June.
The parties bringing the lawsuit contended that constructing through the national forest would pose a threat to endangered species and alleged that the approvals granted by the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service contravene several environmental laws.
The company expressed its intention to complete construction of the project by the conclusion of this year.