Senator Manchin touts pipeline deal in visit to Raleigh County

Senator Manchin touts pipeline deal in visit to Raleigh County
Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 4:25 PM EDT
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BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) - Work on the Mountain Valley Pipeline will continue following an agreement struck between the President, Congress, and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin. The agreement reached allows work on the pipeline through West Virginia continue through a fast-tracked permitting process.

As part of that deal, there was a two-year increase on the debt limit combined with a reduction in government spending.

Crews started work on the pipeline in 2016, but the project had been stalled numerous times over legal challenges and the permitting process.

“In other developed parts of the world, they’re able to get through this in one or two years. We’re looking at five, 12 years or more here. So we’re back in the game,” said Sen. Manchin during a stop at the staging site for the pipeline in Bradley, W.Va. on Friday.

During the visit, Sen. Manchin said there are only 20 miles left to complete on the pipeline, which stretches from Wetzel County, W.Va. to Virginia. Once complete, the line will provide natural gas to Americans across the Southeast.

“This is all about Energy Security in America and providing people in the Southeastern part of the United States from paying exorbitant energy prices with money they don’t have.”

Not everyone was on board with the deal. Environmentalist, including Sen. Bernie Saunders, (I) Vermont, opposed the agreement. Environmentalists have repeatedly staged protests over their concerns over possible ruptures in the lines or attacks on U.S. infrastructure where the lines are located.

“Fossil fuel energy? Doing great,” said Sen. Saunders. “They’re going to get the fast track for a pipeline we don’t need. Fifty-six billion dollars over the next ten years? Pretty good,” said Saunders.

Meanwhile, representatives for the pipeline maintain their infrastructure is sealed and safe with stop-gaps in place to prevent a catastrophic break.

On top of bringing in more than 50 million a year in state tax revenue, Sen. Manchin said W.Va. property owners impacted by the pipeline will receive 175 million a year in royalties.

With crews soon getting back to work, he said the pipeline could be operational as early as next year.