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Manchin Gets Green Light For Natural Gas Pipeline Permits

Joe Manchin
J. Scott Applewhite
FILE - Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is met by reporters outside the hearing room where he chairs the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, at the Capitol in Washington, July 21, 2022. Manchin has been an obstacle for Biden's climate change plans, a reflection of his outsized influence at a time when Democrats hold the narrowest of margins in the U.S. Senate.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin has received a commitment from congressional leaders and the White House to greenlight a natural gas pipeline he supports.

Manchin said President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have agreed to expedite permitting for the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

The roughly 300-mile pipeline would transport natural gas from northern West Virginia to mid-Atlantic markets.

The project has been tied up in federal court, where judges have struck down key permits needed to finish it. Environmental groups say the pipeline has adverse impacts on waterways.

Manchin’s agreement shifts legal matters to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, which is considered more favorable to business interests.

Manchin secured the agreement as part of his support for a package of climate, energy and health care provisions, now called the Inflation Reduction Act.

Lawmakers will vote on the permitting provisions to fast-track the pipeline by Sept. 30.

Energy & Environment Reporter, ctate@wvpublic.org, 202-679-8470, @tatecurtis

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