June 2, 2023
Dear Supporters and Friends of Preserve Craig,
The debt ceiling bill passed Congress with an unprecedented over-ride of our rights, that mandates the completion of MVP. We had recently won court rulings confirming the project was violating laws and they were still missing permits, which this new law attempts to ignore and over-ride. We are exploring our options, although our current and pending court filings now appear to be mute.
Despite a valiant effort on the part of Senator Tim Kaine and a tsunami of calls and emails to senators from all parts of the country, the debt ceiling bill passed the Senate last night with the MVP special interest provision intact. Sen. Kaine’s amendment to strip out the MVP section was voted down, as was every other proposed amendment to the bill. President Biden is expected to sign the bill today.
This unprecedented legislation requires all MVP permits to be approved within 21 days and exempts MVP from judicial review. MVP had received new approvals from the Fish and Wildlife Service regarding endangered species and from the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management for the third time to cross our Jefferson National Forest but were being questioned. MVP still needs the 404 permit from the Army Corps of Engineers before initiating any open-cut stream or wetland crossings.
MVP had promised the FERC that they will not begin any construction until June 15 and the Courts had ordered FERC not to cross the Forest until all permits and reviews are in place. But when this law is signed, they could start construction again any day.
We will be watching closely! The Mountain Valley Watch is in place for when construction begins again.
Our neighbors along the route will continue to need our support, and the impacted hillsides, creeks, and caves that we love will need our protection. We will do what we can to stay in touch about developments as we know of them—as well as training opportunities for construction-related monitoring. We will continue to watchdog our streams and continue to hold regulatory agencies accountable to ensure adequate oversight of MVP in the rush to complete over hundreds of waterbody crossings.
Thank you for all your calls and messages to Washington leaders over the past week—and your steadfast support in the fight against the Mountain Valley Pipeline over the past 8+ years!
Bill Wolf for the Preserve Craig Team