September 8, 2022

Contact: Lorne Stockman, lorne@priceofoil.org

As Hundreds Gather in DC to Protest Manchin’s Dirty Side Deal, Schumer & Pelosi Should Know That Everything Joe Manchin Says About the Mountain Valley Pipeline Is Wrong

Washington, DC: Oil Change International supports impacted communities and landowners along the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) route gathering in DC today with a new publication debunking three myths Manchin has spread about the MVP. Manchin is spreading these myths in an effort to get the project fast-tracked as a part of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) “side deal.”   

The fact sheet entitled Why Everything Manchin Says About the Mountain Valley Pipeline is Wrong highlights the following Manchin MVP Myths:

Myth #1: MVP will free up gas that can then be exported to Europe. It won’t. The key bottleneck for exporting more gas to Europe is maxed out capacity at US LNG export terminals. It will take years to build new capacity, by which time demand for gas in Europe will be in decline.

Myth #2: The Southeast US needs more gas. It doesn’t. There is already plenty of gas pipeline capacity in the Southeast. Demand for gas in the region and the US in general is projected to decline, as renewables displace both coal and gas power generation.

Myth #3: MVP can help support US climate goals. It can’t. Manchin and MVP’s owners assume building another gas pipeline will reduce emissions by helping to retire coal plants. But while renewables are now displacing both coal and gas across the country, the emissions that MVP will cause mean that every coal plant in its service area (Virginia and North and South Carolina) would need to close by 2030 to align with the administration’s climate targets and the U.S. commitment to the Paris Accord on Climate Change. This is clearly neither possible nor what Joe Manchin intends.

Lorne Stockman, Research Co-Director at Oil Change International and co-author of the fact sheet said, “Schumer & Pelosi need to understand that Manchin’s desire to see the Mountain Valley Pipeline completed is based on his fossil fuel donor’s interests rather than any value the pipeline actually has for US or European energy security or the climate. MVP is a false solution looking for a problem. It’s out of date and out of time.

Additional Context:

Senator Manchin is widely reported to have negotiated a “side deal” to secure his support for the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The Act includes billions in funding for initiatives to combat climate change, but the fossil fuel industry, aided by Manchin, also secured substantial concessions. As if that was not enough, Manchin secured a pledge from Chuck Schumer for legislation on infrastructure permitting reform that would gut the National Environmental Protection Act. The potential reform bill is said to include specific measures to advance the completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a fracked gas pipeline that plans to run from West Virginia to Virginia and on to North Carolina. The pipeline is massively over budget and over schedule due to substantial opposition along its route and the fact that many of its permits were issued in contravention of federal regulations and therefore were overturned in the courts.

The fact sheet forms part of a packet of information that citizen lobbyists from Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina will be discussing with their representatives in DC today. 

The fact sheet is available here

Our calculations for estimating MVP’s emissions and how many coal plants it would need to displace can be found here

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Oil Change International is a research, communications, and advocacy organization focused on exposing the true costs of fossil fuels and facilitating the coming transition towards clean energy.

One Comment

  • The U.S. knowingly crossed Russia’s red line on pushing NATO to its border–an expansion since Paul Wolfowitz’ 1992 plan to weaken Russia, but I have noticed that by demonizing Russia and Putin, the U.S. has grabbed Russia’s non-fracked gas market and transferred it to the U.S. Geopolitics is all about controlling natural resources. The result of this not well-thought-out plan is a grossly unsustainable 300% rise in Europe’s energy costs and $200 billion in England’s subsidy.

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