Sen. Kaine introduces amendment to strip debt ceiling bill of pipeline project approval
RICHMOND, Va. (WVIR) - A bill to raise the U.S. debt ceiling includes a controversial natural gas pipeline project that would run through Virginia.
It’s something Virginia Senator Tim Kaine says caught him by surprise.
On Thursday, June 1, Sen. Kaine introduced an amendment to strip the bill of language that would greenlight the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
Kaine says the decision to add it in the original bill could affect Virginia landowners.
“If you put pipeline permitting in the hands of Congress, then people will try to buy Congress off. I think it’s frankly an outrageous giveaway that is unjustified and really nearly unprecedented in what Congress would do,” Kaine said.
The Mountain Valley Pipeline is a more than 300-mile pipeline that would be used to transport natural gas across the state line, stretching from northwest Virginia through southern Virginia.
“For years, people in the path of the MVP have asked me to weigh in and oppose the Mountain Valley Pipeline, and I’ve looked them in the eye and said, ‘No, I don’t think Congress should be making permitting decisions. I don’t think we should be putting our thumb on the scale on permitting decisions.’”
A greenlight on the pipeline would mean it would be able to bypass the normal judicial and administrative review all other energy projects have to go through.
“The way a lot of my constituents see this is, ‘Hold on a second, a wealthy company that’s worth billions wants to take my land to make billions more and I get nothing out of it.’”
Kaine says a lot of the people in the path of the pipeline will not even benefit from it.
“I can’t connect into the pipeline to get low cost energy at my house. <any of the counties in western Virginia through which the pipeline is going to transit, they don’t even have natural gas distribution to homes or businesses in those counties,” Kaine said.
The senate could pass the bill raising the debt ceiling as soon as the end of the week.
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