• EPA suspends enforcement of environmental laws amid coronavirus

    By: Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill March 26, 2020 The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a sweeping suspension of its enforcement of environmental laws Thursday, telling companies they would not need to meet environmental standards during the coronavirus outbreak. The temporary policy, for which the EPA has set no end date, would allow any number of industries to skirt environmental laws, with the agency saying it will not “seek penalties for noncompliance with routine monitoring and reporting obligations.” Cynthia Giles, who headed the EPA’s Office of Enforcement during the Obama administration, called it a moratorium on enforcing the nation’s environmental laws…


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  • Utilities Face Pressure To Stop Shutting Off Services Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

    By: Alexander C. Kaufman, The Huffington Post March 13, 2020 A breakup doubled Andrea Guinn’s living expenses overnight. Saddled with the bills and rent for the apartment she once shared with her ex in Queens, she fell behind on payments to Consolidated Edison, the $29 billion investor-owned utility that enjoys a monopoly on electricity in New York City. By February, the 33-year-old said, she paid off all but $74 of the nearly $600 she owed the utility and stayed current on her monthly bills. But one night last month, she…


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  • ACP Case Could Gut 100 Years of Safeguards for Federal Parks

    By: Kathryn Miles, Politico March 3, 2020 When is a hiking trail not the same as the land it sits on? That’s a question before the Supreme Court, which last week heard oral arguments concerning the siting of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a $5.1 billion project that, if completed, would transport over a billion cubic feet of gas each day from West Virginia to North Carolina. The arguments were the latest in five years of legal snags for the project that has…


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  • Environmental advocates, fossil fuel industry debate Atlantic Coast Pipeline at the U.S. Supreme Court

    By: Sarah Vogelsong, NC Policy Watch February 24, 2020 WASHINGTON, D.C. — Where does a trail end and the land beneath it begin? That’s just one of the thorny questions the Supreme Court grappled with Monday morning during a one-hour hearing on a U.S. Forest Service permit for the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The hearing has been hotly anticipated by both the gas and oil industry, which supports the pipeline, and the environmental advocacy community, which opposes the project. Since its inception, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a 600-mile conduit that would bring natural gas from West Virginia, through Virginia and…


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  • MVP Southgate clears environmental review by FERC

    By: Laurence Hammack, The Roanoke Times February 14, 2020 Plans to extend the Mountain Valley Pipeline 75 miles into North Carolina moved forward Friday, even as the initial project remains mired in legal and regulatory challenges. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission concluded that while there would be some environmental damage caused by building the so-called MVP Southgate, it could be minimized to “less than significant levels.” An environmental impact statement released by FERC is a major step forward for the pipeline, which would originate at Mountain Valley’s terminus in Chatham, head southwest through Pittsylvania County and cross into North Carolina,…


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  • Why Are Democratic Governors Still Doing Favors for the Oil Industry?

    By: Nick Martin, The New Republic November 22, 2019 As the world warms and weather grows more extreme, it’s hard to find anyone in American politics—Democrat or Republican—taking the crisis as seriously as scientists suggest they should. A report released this week by the United Nations Environment Programme found that by 2030, the world’s states will have produced twice the amount of fossil fuels allowable if limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit); the current rate of production is 120 percent over what would be necessary to limit warming to 1.5 degrees…


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  • The Connection Between Pipelines and Sexual Violence

    By: Nick Martin, The New Republic October 15, 2019 Last Tuesday, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox announced that the state would intervene in the legal battle over the Keystone XL pipeline. “The Keystone XL Pipeline will bring jobs and economic development to Montana,” Fox wrote in a public statement. “The obstructionist litigation against it has dragged on for far too long—it’s time to settle the matter and begin construction.” Fox, a Republican, is running for governor in 2020, and his support for Keystone XL was expected. Equally expected was the disappointment from environmental groups and tribal nations…


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  • Governor’s office agrees to allow employees to publicly answer lawmakers’ questions about ACP

    By: Lisa Sorg, The Progressive Pulse Oct. 14, 2019 Employees from Gov. Roy Cooper’s office soon could publicly testify before lawmakers about details of a voluntary $57.8 million mitigation fund involving the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The employees could appear before a subcommittee as early as the week of Nov. 4. If built, the ACP would started at a fracked natural gas operation in West Virginia, traverse through Virginia and enter North Carolina in Northampton County before continuing 160 miles through the eastern part of the state. Tens of thousands of people oppose the project because it would harm waterways, wildlife habitats and air quality, as well as raise…


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  • What to watch in the Appalachian Trail ACP fight

    By: Niina Farah, E&E News October 7, 2019 Parties on either side of a newly picked Supreme Court case on the Atlantic Coast pipeline see starkly different consequences of justices weighing in on the legal conflict. The high court agreed last Friday to hear an appeal of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the Forest Service could not authorize the pipeline to cross hundreds of feet beneath the Appalachian Trail (Greenwire, Oct. 4). Critics of the 4th Circuit decision — the pipeline developers, a coalition of states and other industry groups — see a ruling by…


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  • As Pipeline Construction Booms, Citizens Take Inspections Into Their Own Hands

    By: Brittany Patterson, WV Public Broadcasting August 29, 2019 On a recent hot, August weekend, about a dozen citizens spent three days along the route of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Armed with cameras, smartphones and drones the volunteers traveled portions of the pipeline’s route under construction from Monroe to Doddridge counties. “There was several things that we saw,” said Summers County resident and organic farmer Neal Laferriere. Laferriere organized the three-day “violations blitz.” He said volunteers documented small problems like poorly-maintained erosion controls as well as much larger ones. “Sediment-laden water in one situation was overflowing…


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