SELC celebrates withdrawal of dirty side deal
WASHINGTON — Today, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin withdrew his effort to use a must-pass government funding bill as a vehicle to weaken environmental protections and disempower frontline communities. This controversial legislation would have overhauled longstanding environmental laws to benefit fossil fuel companies and forced the completion of the embattled Mountain Valley Pipeline.
“We applaud the leadership of Senator Kaine and others who rejected this dirty deal and made clear it would not pass. Congress can now vote to keep the government open without being held hostage by an egregious quid pro quo that put fossil fuel interests over communities and tried to place the Mountain Valley Pipeline above the law. We’ll remain vigilant for future attempts to erode our bedrock environmental protections like the National Environmental Policy Act, which is essential to ensuring that real people—not just powerful and politically connected energy companies—have a seat at the table,” said Southern Environmental Law Center Director of Federal Affairs Nat Mund.
SELC Senior Attorney and leader of its Regional Gas team, Greg Buppert, called the failed attempt to place the Mountain Valley Pipeline above the law “a testament to the desperation of its backers.”
“The fact that the pipeline company thought its best option was trying to sweet talk Congress into exempting the project from environmental laws and then locking the public out of court highlights what folks on the ground have known for years: the Mountain Valley Pipeline is a risky project in the wrong place and its self-inflicted problems aren’t going away,” said Buppert.