Congressional bill would add protections for landowners in the path of interstate natural gas pipelines
WASHINGTON — Today Virginia Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner introduced a bill — the Pipeline Fairness, Transparency, and Responsible Development Act — to protect landowners’ rights in the federal permitting process for gas pipelines. These projects frequently inflict harm on private property to transport methane, a potent greenhouse gas. The bill is a good first step towards overhauling the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s process by ensuring that a pipeline company can’t condemn people’s land until the company shows it can actually build the pipeline.
In response, Southern Environmental Law Center Senior Attorney and Leader of its Regional Gas Team, Greg Buppert, issued the following statement:
“We support this effort to protect landowners from the destruction caused by gas pipelines rubberstamped by regulators at FERC. Nowhere is the harm from this broken system more glaring than in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia and West Virginia, where the Mountain Valley Pipeline has ruined private property and left a jagged scar across the landscape. MVP demonstrates why we need to make even more changes at FERC to protect communities, climate, and clean water.
We — along with so many other people in our region and around the country — remain firmly opposed to any backroom deal that would give this irresponsible project a free pass from Congress and strip longstanding permitting protections for communities facing fossil fuel infrastructure.”