April 12, 2019

WV Senators Applaud President Trump's Order On Pipelines | The Clarksburg Exponent Telegram

CLARKSBURG — West Virginia lawmakers are applauding President Donald Trump's efforts to speed up natural gas pipeline projects. 

Trump issued a pair of executive orders Thursday aimed at making it harder for states to block pipelines and other energy projects due to environmental concerns.

"Too often badly needed energy infrastructure is being held back by special interest groups, entrenched bureaucracies and radical activists," Trump said before signing the orders.

Both Sen. Shelly Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., issued statements voicing their approval of the president's actions. 

Manchin praised the role of Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who he said took steps to recognize the importance the Appalachian region plays in the nation's energy industry. 

Manchin said he is hopeful the orders will help speed up of the development of the proposed the Appalachian Storage Hub, a long-discussed project which many see as the future of state's oil and natural gas industry. 

“After talking with Secretary Perry this week and after today’s executive order, I am more confident than ever that the Administration is serious about being a partner in helping us develop the Appalachian Storage Hub," Manchin said. "Since 2017, I have been working with the Administration and Secretary Perry to make sure they understood the positive economic impact and the potential energy security an Appalachian Storage Hub will bring to West Virginia and the country. I have long said that the Appalachian Storage Hub is a vital project that will help us capitalize on our state and region's abundant natural resources, growing infrastructure and innovative spirit." 

Capito said she also believes the orders are a positive development for West Virginia.

“Political games are preventing West Virginia energy from being sent to places that need it. The United States is energy rich, and we should make it easier to use energy resources produced in West Virginia to meet demand across America," she said. "We should also facilitate coal and liquid natural gas exports to promote West Virginia jobs. Earlier this year, I sent Environmental Protection Agency Administrator (Andrew) Wheeler a letter voicing my concern with certain states blocking natural gas pipelines for political reasons and I have worked hard to end the previous administration’s war on coal. I’m glad to see the president once again asserting American leadership in energy today."

Representatives of Dominion Energy, the company leading the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project, declined to comment for this article.

Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, issued a statement saying Trump's orders will make it easier for companies to pollute the environment.

"Today’s executive orders are just another attempt by Donald Trump to give corporate polluters a free pass to pollute our water and put our health at risk," he said. "This attempt strips communities of their ability to act in the public’s interest and address the pollution of their waterways."


By:  Charles Young