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U.S. Supreme Court lifts stay of Mountain Valley Pipeline – 7/28/2023

A federal court order blocking completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline through West Virginia and Virginia was lifted yesterday by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In an order released this morning, Chief Justice John Roberts lifted a stay issued nearly two weeks ago by a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond that halted progress on the 304-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline that will transport natural gas from Wetzel County to central Virginia.

“The application to vacate stays presented to the chief justice and by him referred to the court is granted,” Roberts wrote. “The July 10, 2023, stay orders of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit…and the July 11, 2023, stay order of the Fourth Circuit… are hereby vacated.”

A Fourth Circuit’s three-judge panel issued a stay of the pipeline project in two different rulings after several environmental groups challenged the constitutionality of the permitting reform language in the debt ceiling agreement passed in June by Congress, the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023.

The debt ceiling deal included language to require federal agencies to issue all remaining permits for the Mountain Valley. It also moved legal jurisdiction for the project from the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond to the D.C. Circuit.

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