Layoffs continue on the Mountain Valley Pipeline project after the federal government issued a stop-order on a portion of the pipeline route. The project intends to run a 300 mile natural gas line form West Virginia into Southern Virginia. The job losses are called devastating.
“And there’s thousands of jobs at stake here. Local workers are threatened or have been laid off. Hundreds have already been laid off on the Virginia side. And this is really going to hurt these workers and their families. They expected to earn money on this pipeline. They trained trained, they prepared,” said Steve White, Affiliated Construction Trades.
The pipeline project has been targeted by environmental protesters, who worry about potential damage to water and air quality. They prevailed in court, where a judge halted permits on three miles of the project in Jefferson National Forrest, which is in both states.
“The bottom line message is that MVP misled the court, or misled FERC or misled both. That’s the bottom line,” said Tom Bondurant, Protesters Attorney, on May 2, 2018.
It will be up to the Courts and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission – known as FERC – to do decide how to resolve the dispute. Some lawmakers are concerned that the delay will deny the states badly needed revenue.
“Having this pipeline on hold, is costing West Virginia jobs and West Virginia taxpayer money that could be going to our schools,” said Del. Joshua Higginbotham, (R) Putnam.
Despite the recent layoffs, 77 miles of the project in West Virginia are still under construction.
“Because of the work stoppage on the Mountain valley pipeline, it’s now projected the completion date will be in late 2019,” said Mark Curtis, 59 News Chief Political Reporter.