Manchin, GOP deputy whip back request for Supreme Court to intervene over Mountain Valley pipeline
Lawmakers from both parties are calling on the Supreme Court to intervene over the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which would stretch from northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia, but it has faced legal opposition from environmentalists.
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Republican Chief Deputy Whip Guy Reschenthaler (Pa.) have filed amicus briefs with the Supreme Court in support of the controversial pipeline, which was approved in the debt limit deal earlier this year.
Last week, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., granted a stay on construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a natural gas project championed by Manchin. The deal to raise the debt ceiling in June included a provision approving the pipeline and transferring jurisdiction over the matter to a Washington, D.C., appeals court.
In response, the company behind the pipeline filed an emergency request Monday asking Chief Justice John Roberts to intervene, citing the provision in the debt deal. Roberts has the option of either deciding on the matter himself or putting it to the court for a full vote.
Manchin filed the brief in support of the request Tuesday, while Reschenthaler filed his own Wednesday.
“It’s a shame when members of Congress have to ask the Supreme Court to intervene to maintain the credibility of the laws that we have passed and the President has signed, but I am confident that the Court will uphold our laws and allow construction of [the Mountain Valley Pipeline] to resume,” Manchin said in a statement.
Reschenthaler added in his own statement Wednesday that “[t]he Fourth Circuit judges are not supreme rulers and lawful orders issued by the legislative and executive branches must be followed. Congress was well within its power to restart the Mountain Valley Pipeline construction and usher in a new era of energy independence for the region.”
“Instead of halting the pipeline, I urge the Supreme Court to plug up the ludicrous activism seeping out of the lower court so American families can enjoy lower energy costs, substantial land royalties, and most importantly — law and order in America,” he added.
The Richmond court ordered the halt to construction on a portion of the pipeline after the Wilderness Society sued over the provision that removed the 4th Circuit’s jurisdiction.
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