Biden Admin Silent on Major Natural Gas Pipeline as Energy Prices Soar

The Biden administration has yet to take a public position on a major natural gas pipeline as the project faces an uphill federal permitting battle.

Equitrans Midstream, the energy company that proposed the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) in 2014, delayed the project’s expected completion to late 2023 and said it would pursue new federal permits for a second time, in an earnings report published Tuesday. The project — a 303-mile pipeline that would transport natural gas from West Virginia to Virginia — faced another setback earlier this year after a federal appeals court struck down its Trump-era permits, ruling in favor of environmental groups.

Federal agencies involved in the MVP permitting process didn’t respond to requests for comment or declined to comment altogether, and the White House has yet to intervene in the matter despite soaring energy prices and pleas from a Democratic senator.

“After engaging with the federal agencies and evaluating all options, we believe the best path forward for MVP’s completion is to pursue new permits,” Thomas Karam, the chairman and CEO of Equitrans, said in a statement Tuesday. “To reflect the time required for permit re-issuance and to ensure safe, responsible project construction, we have revised our MVP in-service target to the second half of 2023.”

The total project cost of the pipeline has increased to $6.6 billion, the company added in its earnings report. The MVP pipeline was originally projected to begin operations in 2018 and the total cost has doubled since the project was unveiled, Bloomberg reported. (Read more from “Biden Admin Silent on Major Natural Gas Pipeline as Energy Prices Soar” HERE)

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