Mountain Valley Pipeline begins operation; Manchin, Capito celebrate

MORGANTOWN – The Mountain Valley Pipeline entered service on Friday.

The company said MVP had satisfied all applicable legal and regulatory requirements, including those of the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s Consent Agreement. MVP also received all remaining approvals from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

“This is an important and long-awaited day for our nation and the millions of Americans who now have greater access to an abundant supply of domestic natural gas for use as an affordable, reliable, and cleaner energy resource,” said Diana Charletta, president and CEO of Equitrans Midstream Corp. “Natural gas is an essential fuel for modern life, and, as a critical infrastructure project, the Mountain Valley Pipeline will play an integral role in achieving a lower-carbon future while helping to ensure America’s energy and economic security for decades to come.”

MVP is a 303.5-mile pipeline that will carry natural gas from Wetzel County to southern Virginia. It’s designed to provide natural gas for use by local distribution companies, industrial users and power generation facilities in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the United States.

MVP suffered years of delays and cost escalation from legal challenges and judicial obstruction. It was expected to be complete in 2018 and came in at twice the price — $6 billion instead of $3 billion.

Thomas F. Karam, executive chairman, Equitrans Midstream, said, “We would not be commencing commercial operations were it not for the relentless advocacy and commitment of our federal and state elected officials. In particular, the resolve and commitment of Sen. Manchin who championed and declared MVP as being critical to our energy security and national security, and the dedication of Sen. Capito.”

He also recognized the support of Rep. Carol Miller and Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pa.

Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito both celebrated the opening of the pipeline.

“Since our state’s founding in 1863,” Manchin said, “West Virginians have stepped forward time and again for causes greater than ourselves. We’ve mined the coal that forged the steel that helped turn our country into the greatest industrial might the world has ever seen. And along the way, our great state burnished our legacy as America’s energy powerhouse.

“This pipeline is essential in ensuring the nation’s energy and national security and providing affordable, reliable natural gas to hundreds of thousands of Americans,” he said. “And today, with the Mountain Valley Pipeline officially in service, we are continuing to fulfill that legacy.”

Capito said, “At long last, I am thrilled that the Mountain Valley Pipeline is up and running, marking a significant win for West Virginia and American energy as a whole. After receiving all the necessary permits and approvals from both Republican and Democrat administrations, overcoming needless delays by courts and climate activists, this critical project is now in service and can begin to deliver needed energy to markets up and down the Atlantic coast.

“This entire process took a lot of perseverance,” she said, “and I’m glad we fought every step of the way to help the Mountain Valley Pipeline come to fruition, which will benefit workers and consumers for years to come.”

Toby Rice, President and CEO of EQT, said, “This is such an important day because the completion of MVP is the beginning of opportunity creation, for our communities, for America, for our allies, and for the planet.

“For our communities, the gas that’s flowing through Mountain Valley Pipeline will create a reinvestment opportunity to fill that pipe in the billions of dollars, drilling and producing more gas in our producing regions,” he said. “We are going to be giving American manufacturing the biggest competitive advantage you can give them and that’s access to affordable energy. This is a tremendous opportunity for our American manufacturers.”

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