Last week, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) endorsing the timely completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). Granholm’s letter encourages the agency to proceed with “any further Commission related actions on this project,” expeditiously.
The Secretary’s letter is notable for multiple reasons. The Mountain Valley Pipeline has long been delayed by legal challenges and regulatory setbacks. In August of 2022, FERC granted the MVP an extension of four more years to complete the project’s construction and start operation. The 303-mile-long pipeline is 94% complete and runs from Wetzel County in West Virginia to Pittsylvania County in Virginia.
Secretary Granholm has also been a vocal proponent for renewable technologies during this administration’s tenure, making her letter to FERC backing the MVP pipeline all the more noteworthy. She writes, “energy infrastructure, like the MVP project, can help ensure the reliable delivery of energy that heats homes and businesses, and powers electric generators that support the reliability of the electric system.” Granholm also notes that natural gas and its related infrastructure will play an important role in the “clean energy transition.” While this is undoubtedly true, the previously hostile actions of this administration, including the blocking of drilling permits and the vilifying of an industry, have illustrated that they are not serious about unleashing American energy.
The letter to FERC represents an, albeit small, break from their past orthodoxy. Energy infrastructure projects such as the Mountain Valley Pipeline are not only critical for a ‘clean energy transition’ but also for good paying jobs, reliable energy service, and low energy costs. Constructing such projects should be a priority in order to secure our energy independence further.