Supreme Court faces increased pressure from Congress to reinstate massive pipeline

FIRST ON FOX: A bicameral congressional delegation is filing an amicus brief with the Supreme Court on Wednesday, calling for it to strike down a lower court order pausing a natural gas pipeline green-lit by recent legislation. The delegation — led by GOP Chief Deputy Whip Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pa., and joined by seven fellow representatives and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. — argued that a 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling last week blocking Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) construction was illegal. The Fiscal Responsibility Act, the bipartisan debt limit bill President Biden signed in early June, fast-tracked federal permits for the MVP. “The Fourth Circuit judges are not supreme rulers and lawful orders issued by the legislative and executive branches must be followed,” Reschenthaler told Fox News Digital in a statement. “Congress was well within its power to restart the Mountain Valley Pipeline construction and usher in a new era of energy independence for the region.”  “Instead of halting the pipeline, I urge the Supreme Court to plug up the ludicrous activism seeping out of the lower court so American families can enjoy lower energy costs, substantial land royalties, and most importantly – law and order in America,” he continued. JOE MANCHIN CALLS ‘BULLS—‘ ON GOP TAKING CREDIT FOR GAS PIPELINE IN DEBT CEILING DEAL The Fiscal Responsibility Act also transfers jurisdiction for judicial review of legal challenges related to MVP from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The language was included as a result of the appeals panel’s history of striking down key permits for the project. The MVP pipeline, which would stretch 303 miles from West Virginia to Virginia, is currently 94% complete, but has been slowed by a lengthy permitting process. The project was first proposed nearly a decade ago. DEM SENATOR UNLOADS ON WHITE HOUSE FOR AGREEING TO FAST-TRACK GAS PIPELINE IN BUDGET DEAL “If the stays remain in place, Congress’s authority will be usurped and the harm to the people will be irreparable. Respondents must pursue their claims of invalidity, if at all, in the D.C. Circuit pursuant to the Act,” the lawmakers wrote in their Supreme Court brief Wednesday. “This Court should grant the Emergency Application and vacate the Fourth Circuit stays for lack of jurisdiction.” “Congress acted within its authority,” they added. “It also acted sensibly and with bipartisan support. The Fourth Circuit, however, simply disregarded the law. Worse, the court did so without opinion or any articulated rationale. If this is to be a republic of laws and not of men, a recurring three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit cannot be permitted to override the clear will of the people. Intervention is imperative.” On Friday, the pipeline’s developer asked the Supreme Court to vacate the stay issued by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. The court then set a deadline of early next week for plaintiffs, a coalition of environmental groups, to respond. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who also played a role in securing the pipeline in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, filed his own amicus brief in the case Tuesday. “We cannot let this continue any longer,” Manchin said. “It’s a shame when members of Congress have to ask the Supreme Court to intervene to maintain the credibility of the laws that we have passed and the President has signed, but I am confident that the Court will uphold our laws and allow construction of MVP to resume.” According to Equitrans Midstream, the pipeline’s developer, MVP will transport about 2 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas from West Virginia to consumers in the Mid-Atlantic and South Atlantic. The pipeline is projected to generate $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.
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