Understanding the Legislative Text on the Mountain Valley Pipeline
On Sunday evening, the U.S. Senate released the text of a legislative bill that grants expedited approval to the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). This is great news for West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin III, as he is a key Democratic swing vote whose support for the project was widely known. The legislative text also revealed agreements not mentioned in the 99 pages of the bill, including the reallocation of $10 billion from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The Mountain Valley Pipeline is part of a larger effort to expand natural gas infrastructure in Appalachian states. It’s a more than 300-mile pipeline that would transport natural gas from West Virginia to Virginia. Supporters of the pipeline say it will create jobs and bring much-needed economic development to the region. Opponents, however, point to environmental concerns like potential water pollution and how building the pipeline will disrupt indigenous communities who live in the area.
On Sunday, administration officials stated there would be no disruptions due to the $10 billion reallocation from the IRS. To ensure no short-term disruption, they said they may pull forward some of the money earmarked for later years, and then ask Congress for more money at a later date.
The expedited approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline tends to favor Senator Manchin and other West Virginian lawmakers. Critics are concerned over the implications this has to the overall integrity of the legislative process. This is especially concerning because of the bill’s additional provisions, which were not clearly included in the 99 pages of bill text that was released in the first place.
At the end of the day, how legislators handle the approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline will tell us a lot about our political process. It is essential that the public remains informed and engaged to ensure that our lawmakers are held to the highest standards when it comes to their legislative duty. We must be vigilant and pay close attention to legislative updates to ensure our elected officials keep their oath to serve and protect all citizens.