Click here to watch Ranking Member Capito’s floor speech.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, delivered remarks on the Senate Floor in support of provisions to expedite completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline and implement permitting reforms, which are included in the debt ceiling package that avoids default.
“This bill represents a positive first step in improving the permitting process for projects of all types. By amending the National Environmental Policy Act for the first time since 1982, we will help projects of all types, whether we are talking about a road or a bridge, a transmission line, renewable energy project, pipeline, or a port. Simply put: a project shouldn’t take longer to permit than it takes to build. That should be true regardless of what type a project is under consideration.”
“The Mountain Valley Pipeline is a prime example of an important project that has faced senseless delays, mostly as the result of litigation filed by anti-natural gas activists at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. This project has undergone environmental reviews, and received approvals, from multiple federal agencies under both the Trump and Biden administrations. This includes actions from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. Given the multiple actions by federal and state environmental agencies approving this project, assertions that this project has not gone through adequate environmental review are just plain wrong. Both the Trump and Biden administrations have expressed support for this project.”
“This legislation makes it crystal clear that Congress expects the Mountain Valley Pipeline to be completed, consistent with the previously approved environmental documents. I have consistently fought for commonsense reforms to ensure we can actually build here in America, including key projects like the Mountain Valley Pipeline.”
“It is my hope that permitting reforms, both the provisions that are in this bill and those we will consider in the future, will allow projects to be approved and constructed in an efficient manner that does not require congressional intervention. But, on occasions where the process fails projects of significant regional and national interest, we have the authority and the responsibility as elected representatives to step in and ensure a project is allowed to proceed.”
BACKGROUND ON CAPITO’S MOUNTAIN VALLEY PIPELINE EFFORTS:
Ranking Member Capito has consistently led efforts in Congress to expedite permitting of the critically important Mountain Valley Pipeline. Capito’s amendment to the Democrats’ Inflation Act in August 2022 was supported by every Republican senator. Capito has also included Mountain Valley Pipeline provisions in comprehensive permitting reform legislation introduced in September 2022, and in the RESTART Act introduced in May 2023.
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