The unexpected carveout green-lighting the billion-dollar Mountain Valley Pipeline — which is 94% complete, but has been mired in a lengthy permitting process for years — was immediately cheered by West Virginia lawmakers who have touted the project’s expected economic benefits for years. The pipeline is projected to create 2,500 construction jobs, $40 million in new tax revenue for West Virginia, $10 million in new tax revenue for Virginia and up to $250 million in royalties for West Virginia landowners.
“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,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., the ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said in a statement.
“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,” she added.
According to a spokesperson for Capito, the pipeline’s approval was ultimately earmarked in the debt ceiling deal after she personally engaged with McCarthy about its importance. The spokesperson added that the entire congressional delegation from West Virginia had pushed for its inclusion in the package.
Democrat Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee applauded McCarthy (R-Cali) for securing the pipeline project.
Manchin stated: “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 West Virginia.”