Congress, Energy, Environment

FERC set to vote on timeline extension for proposed MVP Southgate pipeline project

MORGANTOWN – As work on the MVP pipeline moves forward, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is set to vote on Tuesday on extending the approval deadline for a project extension: MVP Southgate.

MVP Southgate (MVPS) would extend 40 miles from MVP’s Virginia endpoint to the North Carolina border and another 34 miles into North Carolina. MVP announced the project in May 2018 and applied for FERC approval that November. FERC issued a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity in June 2020.

FERC’s certificate required completion of the project by June 18 this year, and MVP has requested an extension to June 18, 2026. FERC will vote on that timeline extension on Tuesday.

MVP will design, build and own the pipeline. MVP projects that MVPS will cost $467 million; support 570 jobs in Virginia and 1,130 in North Carolina; generate construction phase taxes of $4.1 million in Virginia and $6.3 million in North Carolina; and after it opens generate annual taxes of $1.2 million in Virginia and $3.4 million in North Carolina.

Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito both told The Dominion Post on Friday that they support the project.

Manchin said, “FERC must extend the construction deadline for MVP Southgate after the main MVP project was delayed for years by relentless litigation. Southgate will unlock much-needed natural gas supplies for the Carolinas, which have seen massive natural gas spikes in recent winters due to insufficient pipeline infrastructure, forcing customers to pay more than 10 times the normal cost. Southgate will support thousands of additional jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in investment to provide low-cost energy that manufacturers and power generators in this region desperately need.”

Capito said, “We scored a significant win for West Virginia when we included language to complete the Mountain Valley Pipeline in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, and the Southgate extension would be another positive step for our economy, energy, and the environment. I am supportive of the extension, which will mean more natural gas to more markets across the East Coast.”

The project faces opposition in the environmental community, along with NAACP Virginia State conference, 50 North Carolina legislators (out of 120 House delegates), 22 Virginia legislators (out of 140), and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper.

Appalachian Voices reiterated its opposition in an email exchange with The Dominion Post this week,

“The project, much like the mainline, has been plagued with problems from the beginning — denied permits, the taking of property and environmental justice concerns,” Appalachian Voices said. “Construction on Southgate never started, and the air permit for its Virginia compressor station was denied, along with a necessary water permit from North Carolina.

“The Southgate pipeline and compressor station are not in the public interest and the developers have not demonstrated its viability,” they said. “Its threats remain — from disproportionately impacting environmental justice communities along the pipeline route to endangering the waterways it would cross.”