Discussion held after debt ceiling agreement secures remaining permits, funding for Mountain Valley Pipeline

Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 7:31 PM EDT

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Less than a day after the United States Senate came to an agreement on the country’s debt ceiling limit, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., held a roundtable discussion over one specific element included in the agreement: the approval of remaining permits and money for the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

Though there has been some pushback from environmental groups, Manchin, a Democrat said completion of the project is a necessary part of providing energy to those in need.

Reflecting on his visit to Bradley, West Virginia earlier Friday, Manchin reflected on what exactly the completion of the pipeline will mean for Mountaineers.

“The economic opportunities are this: about $40 to $50 million a year, we’ll come into the state of new taxes,” Manchin said Friday in Charleston.

“A swarm of taxes coming to the state of West Virginia, another 175 to 200 plus million dollars a year to all of the landowners, 20 miles of pipe out I observed, it’s laying there ready to go. You got to put 2,500 people back to work, good-paying jobs, all union jobs, good paying jobs with benefits.”

Those benefits are not without concerns from the environment from organizations like West Virginia’s Citizen Action Group.

“It’s going to affect a lot of property owners in the mountains, a lot of national forest lands, it’s going to have over three or 400, stream crossings and all of these will have potential damage to water resources,” Gary Zuckett, the organization’s executive director said.

“The wildlife up there. And that’s one of the things we’re concerned about.”

Manchin, however, said it is more delays that will cause risks.

“It’s been looked at more than any other project in America for over eight years so that box has been crossed and the thing is litigation can hold you up for years and years and the person who pays the biggest price is the consumer.”

Manchin expects the pipeline could be completed by winter.