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Granholm backs Mountain Valley Pipeline

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Apr 25, 2023
Section of Mountain Valley Pipeline

A piece of the Mountain Valley Pipeline sits on a farm in Rocky Mount, Va. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is pushing for the Mountain Valley Pipeline, formally involving the Biden administration in a contentious fight over a longtime Manchin priority.

Why it matters: It's a big step for a Cabinet secretary to endorse an individual project outside of its regulatory authority — and the Biden administration's environmental allies groups despise Mountain Valley.

Driving the news: Granholm asked FERC in a letter dated Friday to move "expeditiously" on any remaining regulatory work on MVP.

  • "While the Department takes no position regarding the outstanding agency actions required under federal or state law ... we submit the view that the MVP project will enhance the Nation's critical infrastructure for energy and national security," Granholm wrote.
  • The pipeline is still facing legal challenges and awaiting some permits, including a critical approval from the Army Corps.

Flashback: The administration already backed approving MVP by when it supported Manchin's permits bill last year in exchange for his IRA "yes" vote.

  • Now it's dealing with intense scrutiny from the ENR chair, who just yesterday threatened on Fox News to repeal the IRA over how Biden's implemented EV and battery sourcing requirements he sought in the law.

Zoom out: The letter is dated the same day — April 21 — that Biden rolled out a new executive order aimed at ensuring agencies consider environmental justice impacts in their decisions.

What we're watching: DOE's increasingly using its voice to back energy industry projects that other agencies are in charge of approving.

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