Lawmakers, groups demand FERC deny Mountain Valley Pipeline Southgate’s extension request

July 25, 2023

Dan Radmacher, Media Specialist, Appalachian Voices, (540) 798-6683,
Jessica Sims, Virginia Field Coordinator, Appalachian Voices, (804) 356-1228,
Morgan Caplan, Sierra Club,

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission closed the comment period for the docket following the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s request for a three-year extension to complete the Southgate project that would extend the mainline into North Carolina.

During the comment period, over 38,000 community leaders, grassroots organizations, and members of the public, including the NAACP Virginia State conference, weighed in. In addition, state legislators including more than 50 North Carolina legislators and 22 Virginia legislators, as well as North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and Congresswomen Foushee and Manning, submitted comments as well.

Over the last five years, as residents across Appalachia have been organizing to ensure that the extension is not built, construction of Southgate has not yet begun, and MVP has even withdrawn its eminent domain cases against all North Carolina landowners along the Southgate route.

Further, MVP has not resubmitted an application for its missing water quality certification in North Carolina, still lacks a Clean Water Act Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and was denied a critical air permit for Southgate’s proposed Lambert Compressor Station in Virginia, due to environmental justice concerns.

Community leaders and grassroots organizations also sent a letter to FERC urging the commission to find that there is no good cause to grant an extension of time for the project’s Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. The letter also points out that there is a growing body of evidence showing the project is not needed given the lack of demand for gas in the state:

“The need for an additional supply of residential gas on top of the additional capacity provided by improvements to the Transco system to a state that has the highest percentage of electrical appliance usage in the country is dubious and is not in line with the Commission’s goal to ‘appropriately consider the possibility for overbuilding.’”

“The future we want to build for our communities starts today, holding our regulators accountable and ensuring we never see the day when this dangerous and unnecessary project harms communities,” Sierra Club Senior Field Organizer, Caroline Hansley, said. “North Carolinians refuse to be led on by greedy energy corporations, and time and again our state’s residents have told legislators and regulators this pipeline and its extension are not needed. With no trees cut, no pipe laid, and no meaningful headway to commence construction, we ask decision makers to deny this pipeline from ever harming these communities.”

“The Haw River is a lifeline for our communities and the ecosystems that depend on it, providing drinking water, recreational access, flood control, and critical habitat for sensitive wildlife. This project threatens to irreparably destroy the health of this watershed. When given the opportunity to fight to protect it, our communities and the legislators that represent them made their voices heard. This project provides no public necessity or benefit for North Carolinians that outweighs the destruction of the places that we love,” Emily Sutton, Haw Riverkeeper, Haw River Assembly, said.

“This is a clear opportunity for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to do its due diligence and protect the public interest and the environments of Virginia and North Carolina by sending MVP back to the drawing board,” said Ridge Graham, North Carolina Program Manager for Appalachian Voices.