On September 2, 2020, the U.S. Forest Service (NFS) published in the Federal Register a proposed rule that would ease existing restrictions on oil and gas development in the National Forests. The action follows a September 2018 Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR).
The NFS proposal, available at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/09/01/2020-18518/oil-and-gas-resources, summarized the comments received on the ANPR, as follows:
- “Fifty-seven public comments included statements of general opposition, and twenty-three included statements of general support for the proposed rule. The remainder expressed neither opposition nor support.
- “Stated reasons for general opposition include the destruction of national forests and natural resources for financial or political interests; inadequate protection of human and environmental health; adverse impacts to recreation opportunities and tourism; and unsustainable reliance on fossil fuels.
- “Stated reasons for general support include the generation of revenue; large existing demands for oil and gas; decreases in regulatory burden on the oil and gas industry; promotion of domestic energy production; and creation of a simplified process leading to quicker leasing decisions and elimination of duplication with the Bureau of Land Management.”
Comments to the Forest Service on the proposed rule are due November 2, 2020.
We’ve killed the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, now it is time to kill the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Continue the fight! Join with some of the organizations fighting the MVP:
- POWHR (Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights) Coalition – https://powhr.org
- Mountain Valley Watch – https://powhr.org/mvwatch/
- Appalachians Against Pipelines – https://www.facebook.com/appalachiansagainstpipelines/
- Water is Life…Protect It! – https://www.facebook.com/waterislifeprotectit/
- Allegheny Blue Ridge Alliance (ABRA) – https://www.abralliance.org
Two articles provide helpful background.
In his August 10, 2020 article, Despite company claims, only a fraction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline is complete in Virginia, Jonathan Sokolow writes, “”While substantial work appears to have been done in West Virginia, according to MVP’s own numbers they barely have gotten started in Virginia. The truth is that in Virginia MVP is less than 15 percent complete. That’s 15.75 miles complete in Virginia out of a total of 108 miles. …. It turns out MVP is, to be generous, manipulating numbers to create a false impression. It would be like a contractor telling you your new house is ‘almost complete’ because ‘most’ of the wood framing is ‘done’ even though you have no electricity, no water, no roof, no walls, no floors – and the contractor is missing multiple permits to do that work because they got sued in federal court – and lost.”
On September 2, 2020, a Virginia Mercury article points out that Despite rosy projections, all is not well with the Mountain Valley Pipeline. “Following the cancellation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the developers of the Mountain Valley Pipeline have not been shy about talking up their own project in the Appalachian region. However, behind the rosy pronouncements of late, all is far from well with the MVP. …. MVP has requested the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission grant an extension of its construction timeline until Oct. 13, 2022. The reality is that MVP is over two years behind schedule and $2 billion over budget. Given federal permit suspensions, a nearly year-long — and counting — project-wide Stop Work order, ongoing legal challenges and ballooning financial woes, MVP cannot forecast when, or if, the project will be finished.”
Recent post-ACP-cancellation news articles of interest. More detailed information on our In the News page.
- 10-29-20 Virginia Mercury. Federal regulators order Atlantic Coast Pipeline to provide a plan for project wind-down, restoration.
- 10-25 20 Charleston Gazette-Mail. Opponents of Mountain Valley Pipeline sense momentum as project remains stalled in legal limbo.
- 10-16-20 Roanoke Times. Federal court delays stream crossings for Mountain Valley Pipeline.
- 10-11-20 Inside Climate News. Too Much Sun Degrades Coatings That Keep Pipes From Corroding, Risking Leaks, Spills and Explosions.
- 10-9-20 Roanoke Times. Work on Mountain Valley Pipeline can resume, FERC rules.
- 10-8-20 Roanoke Times. FERC study finds no risk from protective coating of Mountain Valley Pipeline.
- 9-30-20 Nelson County Times. With ACP canceled, Nelson residents look to environmental recovery.
- 9-30-20 Blue Virginia. COVID-19 Bombshell, Part 2: Mountain Valley Pipeline Refuses to Release Its COVID-19 Preparedness Plan to Virginia Department of Health.
- 9-29-20 Blue Virginia. COVID-19 Bombshell: As Thousands of Out-of-State Mountain Valley Pipeline Workers Prepare to Descend on SW Virginia, Dept. of Health Declines to Review Company’s COVID Mitigation Plan.
- 9-28-20 Roanoke Times. Mountain Valley Pipeline foes file challenge to reissued stream-crossing permits.
- 9-25-20 Roanoke Times. Mountain Valley Pipeline regains permit to cross streams, wetlands.
- 9-23-20 Roanoke Times. Mountain Valley seeks to resume construction of pipeline.
- 9-18-20 Virginia Mercury. Air Board beefs up public notice requirements for new fossil fuel plants.
- 9-10-20 Roanoke Times. Bleicher and Rubin: Lessons for Corporate Leaders from the Death of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
- 9-10-20 NRDC. 5 Key Reasons to Stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
- 9-8-20 Virginia Mercury. Virginia’s vanishing bee: State works to save rusty patched bumble bee.
- 9-8-20 The Land I Trust. Podcast: Pastor Paul Wilson on defeating a fracked gas compressor station along the Atlantic Coast Pipeline: Season 4, Ep. 3.
- 9-2-20 Virginia Mercury. Despite rosy projections, all is not well with the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
- 9-1-20 Highlands Voice. The Conservation Hub: Strengthening Environmental Analysis and Improving Public Participation. Article by Lew Freeman and Dan Shaffer about ABRA’s new Conservation Hub project.
From Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance’s ABRA Update #290, August 27, 2020
The Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for an extension of time of “an additional two years, or until October 13, 2022, to complete construction of the Project and place the Project facilities into service.” FERC issued on August 27 an official notice of a comment period for the public to have input on the MVP request, the deadline for which is Friday, September 11, 2020.
You are strongly urged to file comments with FERC by 5 pm, Friday, September 11 in opposition to the extension of the certificate for the MVP. Regarding filing comments, the FERC Notice states: The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “e-File” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically may mail similar pleadings to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20426. Hand delivered submissions in docketed proceedings should be delivered to Health and Human Services, 12225 Wilkins Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20852.
For further information and details of the MVP request, see the ABRA article, MVP Asks FERC for Two More Years to Construct Pipeline.