Federal court blocks Mountain Valley Pipeline yet again, delivering blow to Joe Manchin
The legislation explicitly removed the Fourth Circuit's jurisdiction over the matter by directing cases as to the legislation's constitutionality to the D.C. Court of Appeals.
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday issued a stay to halt construction on a three-mile portion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline set to run through federal land, delivering a major blow to West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, who has repeatedly labored to secure the project's completion.
Manchin originally sought to include a permitting reform plan in a continuing resolution last year after making a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to support the Inflation Reduction Act.
Democratic opposition to the deal, however, forced Manchin to capitulate in that instance and the project ultimately received permits via a compromise debt ceiling bill negotiated between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
Though that legislation approved the permits for the pipeline to run through the Jefferson National Forest, the appeals court granted a request for stay from the activist group Wilderness Society, The Hill reported.
The stay drew furor from Manchin, who contended that the court's stay was illegal. The legislation explicitly removed the Fourth Circuit's jurisdiction over the matter by directing cases as to the legislation's constitutionality to the D.C. Court of Appeals.
"The law passed by Congress & signed by POTUS is clear - the 4th Circuit no longer has jurisdiction over MVP’s construction permits," Manchin tweeted. "This new order halting construction is unlawful, & regardless of your position on MVP, it should alarm every American when a court ignores the law.
The Fourth Circuit has repeatedly blocked the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which upon completion would transport natural gas over the Appalachian Mountains.
Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.