Biden Admin. Grants Mountain Valley Pipeline Permit

    Biden Admin. Grants Mountain Valley Pipeline Permit
    Last updated May 17, 2023
    Image credit: Reuters


    • On Monday night, the Biden administration permitted the $6.6B Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline to run through the Jefferson National Forest which runs between West Virginia and Virginia.[1]
    • This comes after the US Forest Service earlier in the day reissued its approval to construct the long-delayed pipeline across a 3.5-mile (5.6 km) forest corridor in Monroe County, W.Va., and Giles and Montgomery Counties,Va.[2]
    • The Biden administration supports Senator Joe Manchin's (R-W.Va.) bill to speed fossil fuel and renewable energy projects, saying it would aid renewable energy companies to reap the benefit of billions of dollars of tax credits provided in the Inflation Reduction Act.[3]
    • The 303-mile (487 km) pipeline is expected to transport about 2B cubic feet per day of natural gas from West Virginia to consumers in the Mid- and South Atlantic regions of the US.[4]
    • In previous litigation, the 4th US Court of Appeals has twice vacated US Forest Service decisions allowing the pipeline to be constructed in the Jefferson National Forest.[5]
    • However, the US Forest Service claims the amended plan will permit the project to move forward while "minimizing environmental impacts to soils, water, scenery, and other resources."[6]


    Pro-establishment narrative

    The construction of new wind, solar, and other renewable energy projects is part of the Biden admin.'s ambitious climate agenda. As extreme weather events strain the US energy system, adequate natural gas pipeline — such as the Mountain Valley Pipeline — and transmission capacity are critical to maintaining energy reliability, availability, and security. This project will help to increase America's energy security.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    The Mountain Valley Pipeline violates regulations to control erosion and sedimentation, threatens endangered species and waterways, and can potentially destroy sensitive land and ecosystems. It will generate tens of millions of metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year. The US must stop its construction if Biden's top priority is to constrain global warming and advance environmental justice. This project puts the thirst for energy ahead of the health of our planet.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that fossil fuels will make up less than 50% of the United States' primary energy consumption by August 2043, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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