Editor's note: This is a developing story. Check back for details.
An industry group on May 29 cheered legislation hammered out during the weekend that would stop a default of the national debt — while also completing the stalled Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) and implementing some regulatory reforms sought by oil and gas advocates.
In legislation made public on May 28, the Fiscal Responsibility Act includes a section devoted to “expediting completion” of the MVP, a natural gas pipeline system that spans approximately 303 miles from northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia. The act also streamlines permitting and makes changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
The legislation, which must still be passed by Congress, is the result of a compromise agreement made by President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
One vote appears to be a shoo-in. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, congratulated McCarthy on completing the MVP to “increase domestic energy production and drive down costs across America and especially in West Virginia.
“I am proud to have fought for this critical project and to have secured the bipartisan support necessary to get it across the finish line," Manchin said in a news release.
One industry group sees the legislation as a stepping stone for future progress.
The introduced legislation includes “meaningful reforms” to NEPA, said Anne Bradbury, CEO of the American Exploration and Production Council. The council is a national trade group that represents oil and gas E&Ps in the U.S.
“This bill sets the stage for more comprehensive permitting reform and is a positive step toward modernizing our permitting system and streamlining the bureaucratic process, which has been holding back America’s ability to build energy infrastructure for decades,” Bradbury said. “The permitting provisions are critical to cutting energy costs for Americans, while also maintaining environmental protections. We encourage Members of Congress to pass this agreement.”
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