Business Strategy and Outlook| Stephen Ellis |
Equitrans' biggest challenge is moving the deeply troubled Mountain Valley Pipeline, or MVP, into service. Equitrans sees Sen. Joe Manchin’s support as helpful and has been in frequent contact with the West Virginia Democratic senator. The recently announced proposed energy permitting provisions (separate legislation from the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022) contains direct benefits for MVP, thanks to Senator Manchin’s support, given the pipeline’s presence in West Virginia. It contains language that ensures that federal agencies take all necessary actions to permit the construction and operation of the MVP. It also gives the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit jurisdiction over future legal challenges, removing the case from the more problematic 4th Circuit, which has been the cause of the recent legal setbacks. Other positives include revising the National Environmental Policy Act, and setting a two-year limit for challenges, as well as revisions to the Clean Water Act to make it harder to block or delay pipelines.