The legislation signed by President Biden to raise the debt ceiling also ratified and approved all permits and authorizations necessary for the construction and initial operation of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) and directed the applicable federal officials and agencies to maintain such authorizations.
Further, and not later than 24 June 2023, the legislation requires the Secretary of the Army to issue all permits or verifications necessary to complete project construction and allow for MVP’s operation and maintenance. The legislation also divests courts of jurisdiction to review agency actions on approvals necessary for MVP construction and initial operation. Given the legislation, and assuming the timely issuance of the few remaining authorizations, Equitrans Midstream, operator of the MVP, intends to work with its project partners to complete construction of the MVP project by year-end 2023, at an estimated total project cost of approximately $6.6 billion.
The MVP project has gone through more environmental review and scrutiny than any natural gas pipeline project in US history, having been issued the same state and federal authorizations two and three times, only to have those authorizations be routinely challenged and vacated in court. Congressional involvement to legislate the approval of this project only magnifies the critical need for more robust and comprehensive permitting reform that goes beyond the important initial steps in this legislation. Absent a more certain regulatory review and approval process, we are impeding companies’ ability to invest capital, including in renewable projects, for the benefit of our Nation’s economy, energy security, and energy affordability.—Thomas F. Karam, chairman and chief executive officer of Equitrans Midstream
Spanning approximately 303 miles across West Virginia and Virginia, the 42" diameter MVP will provide cost-effective access to natural gas for use by local distribution companies, industrial users, and power generation facilities in growing demand markets of the mid-Atlantic and southeast regions of the United States. MVP will have a capacity of 2.0 Bcf per day.
A full carbon offset plan is expected to make MVP’s operational emissions carbon-neutral for its first 10 years of service. Upon full implementation, MVP would become one of the nation’s first, large-scale interstate natural gas transmission lines to achieve carbon neutrality for operational emissions.
With the enactment of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, Mountain Valley will continue to work closely with all relevant agencies in reissuing the project’s few outstanding permits and will maintain its steadfast commitment to environmental protection to ensure the responsible completion of the project's remaining construction.