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Senate Blocks Plan to Dictate Pipeline Permits

In Washington last week, the U.S. Senate once again blocked an attempt to pass energy project review “reform” which would have mandated federal approvals for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) and promoted similar fossil fuel infrastructure.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has ceaselessly crusaded for completion of the MVP, which would pipe fracked gas from West Virginia across environmentally sensitive park lands and multiple streams in western and central Virginia. Environmental justice and climate action groups and communities in Virginia and North Carolina vigorously oppose construction of the MVP and its proposed Southgate extension in North Carolina.

Speaking for the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), Matthew Davis, LCV Senior Director of Government Affairs, said, “This failed amendment would have prioritized the interests of the fossil fuel industry at the expense of the environment and health of frontline communities, who are disproportionately Black, Indigenous, communities of color and low-wealth communities. It is time to move forward with real solutions that center the most impacted communities as we swiftly transition to a more healthy, equitable and just clean energy economy.” 

As usual in Congress, the Manchin-backed legislation became snarled in partisan politics. A majority of Republican Senators voted against the attempt to add Manchin’s bill language to the ‘must-pass’ defense appropriations bill, despite being sympathetic to his pitch for weakening environmental limits on fossil fuel projects. They were joined in opposition to the Manchin-backed language by a number of Democratic Senators who viewed its environmental impacts as unacceptable.

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