The debt ceiling bill released on Sunday included a provision to expedite approval of the stalled Mountain Valley Pipeline, a 303-mile natural gas pipeline project that extends from West Virginia to Virginia.
Over the weekend, President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R) reportedly reached a tentative deal to increase the debt ceiling to $31.4 trillion to avoid default.
If Congress approves the debt ceiling package, the pipeline, which is 94% complete, is expected to generate 2,500 construction jobs, $40 million in tax revenue for West Virginia, and $10 million for Virginia. It is anticipated to transport approximately 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas daily to consumers in the southeast.
The completion of the pipeline repeatedly has been stalled for years over environmental concerns and lengthy permitting processes.
Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Shelley Moore Capito — both U.S. Senators from West Virginia — have supported the completion of the natural gas pipeline, noting that it would reduce energy costs for the state and the country.
Capito — the ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee — released a statement over the weekend celebrating the pipeline’s inclusion in the debt ceiling package.
“After working with Speaker McCarthy and reiterating what completing the Mountain Valley Pipeline would mean for American jobs and domestic energy production, I am thrilled it is included in the debt ceiling package that avoids default,” Capito said. “Despite delay after delay, we continued to fight to get this critical natural gas pipeline up and running, and its inclusion in this deal is a significant victory for the future of West Virginia.”
Manchin applauded McCarthy and his team for pushing for the completion of the pipeline to be included in the debt ceiling package.
“Last summer, I introduced legislation to complete the Mountain Valley Pipeline. I am pleased Speaker McCarthy and his leadership team see the tremendous value in completing the MVP to increase domestic energy production and drive down costs across America and especially in WV,” Manchin stated.
U.S. Rep. Carol Miller (R-W.Va.) called the debt ceiling bill “a bipartisan win for every American.”
“Finally, Republicans and Democrats are coming together to finish the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which will create more jobs, lower energy costs and protect our environment,” Miller stated.
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