CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — A controversial natural gas pipeline in West Virginia appears dead for now after it failed to make next year’s spending bill from Congress. There certainly could be renewed efforts with a new Congress coming next year, but the Mountain Valley Pipeline has hit a dead end for now.
According to US Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), this could cost West Virginia hundreds of millions of dollars over the years.
The Mountain Valley Pipeline was designed to take natural gas from northern West Virginia to all the way southeast of Roanoke, Virginia, and then eventually into North Carolina. Supporters say it would have given the United States a huge power source and energy independence, and other natural gas could be sold to our European allies. But the U.S. Senate has been unable to shorten the permitting process.
“It’s a ten-year commitment to support fossil industry, cleaner in the United States. But a ten year path for fossil in the United States so that we would be energy independent and have the horsepower it takes to run our country,” said Manchin.
Senator Manchin says 2,500 jobs will be lost, and that West Virginia will lose out on $40 million a year in severance tax revenue. He says landowners will lose out on $300 million in royalties from the sale of natural gas from their properties.
Manchin also said the decision to strip out the permitting item from the budget bill was purely political, because Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and many other Republicans did not want to give Democrat Manchin a big victory.