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Legislative Priorities And Pipeline Protesters This West Virginia Morning

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On this West Virginia Morning, we visit activists who are fighting against the Mountain Valley Pipeline by sitting in trees. Also, in this show, we explore what priorities may come up during this unique and historic West Virginia Legislative session.

In just two weeks, the West Virginia Legislature will convene to kick off its 60-day regular session. While the coronavirus pandemic leaves many unknowns as to whether the session will run without interruption, Republicans — who now hold supermajorities in the House and Senate — are eager to fulfill what they see as a mandate from voters in the state. Senior reporter Dave Mistich takes a look at some of the issues that are likely to come up during the session and how minority Democrats hope to play a role in shaping policy without much sway in the statehouse.

Some of Appalachia’s most rugged and beautiful places to explore are located along the Allegheny Mountains. Straddling Virginia and West Virginia, this stretch is the site of a major natural gas pipeline project. The 300-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline, or MVP, was announced in 2014 and approved by the federal government in 2017. But it’s still incomplete. This is partly because of activists.

The Yellow Finch tree sitters have blocked the pipeline in Virginia for more than two years. But in November, a judge ordered the protesters out. But the tree sitters are still there. Inside Appalachia co-host, Mason Adams, has been reporting on this issue for the last six years. He recently visited Yellow Finch and brings us this update.

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.

Listen to West Virginia Morning weekdays at 7:43 a.m. on WVPB Radio or subscribe to the podcast and never miss an episode. #WVMorning