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WV AG applauds planned review of decision to halt pipeline

October 4th, 2019 by WCBC Radio

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey applauded the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to review a federal appeals court ruling that halted construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
The Attorney General led a 16-state coalition in July that urged the Supreme Court to review, and ultimately overturn, the lower court ruling, a decision the coalition argues could unnecessarily block pipeline construction and impede economic growth nationwide.
“West Virginia strongly supports the Supreme Court’s decision as it signals the court recognizes the profound importance of this case as a matter of federal law and economic impact to Appalachia and the nation as a whole,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “We remain hopeful this decision is a precursor to ultimate victory and an end to the unnecessary delays that have negatively impacted the livelihoods of our working class families and the services they receive.”
The coalition’s brief, filed in late July, argued a federal appeals court was inaccurate in ruling the U.S. Forest Service lacked authority to grant the Atlantic Coast Pipeline rights-of-way through forestland beneath federal trailways.
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline will transport natural gas through Harrison, Lewis, Upshur, Randolph and Pocahontas counties en route to Virginia and North Carolina.
The halting of pipeline construction costs West Virginia jobs and lost revenue from income and property taxes.
The attorneys general argue, if left intact, the ruling from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals would transform 1,000 miles of the Appalachian Trail into a near-impenetrable barrier to energy development – all due to a one-tenth of mile crossing on a 600-mile pipeline.
If applied nationwide, the coalition argues the appeals court decision would seal off more than 11,000 miles of federal trails from development and potentially disrupt the national power grid because of the chilling effect it could have on infrastructure investment.
The West Virginia-led brief received support from Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.


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