U.S. Court Suspends Key Permits for Equitrans Mountain Valley Pipeline -
"A U.S. federal appeals court issued a stay of key water crossing permits needed to complete construction of Equitrans Midstream Corp’s 300-mile Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline in two states."
Why this is important: The past few months have seen significant setbacks for natural gas pipelines. A case originating in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana has brought the Keystone XL pipeline to a halt, at least temporarily, pending an environmental review of Nationwide Permit 12. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the Dakota Access Pipeline to be emptied and shut down before the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia could step in. And the backers of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline simply cancelled the project. So this most recent decision suspending permits for the Mountain Valley Pipeline is just part of a larger trend. Beyond the legal issues, though, perhaps the primary takeaway is that these legal challenges are responsible for taking the Mountain Valley Pipeline from a one-year, $3.5 billion project to a multi-year, $6 billion project. The consequence is that, even if environmentalists lose the legal battle, they will have succeeded in significantly changing the economic conditions for these pipelines to be built.
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