Fox Urges U.S. Supreme Court to Reconsider Shutdown of Job-Producing Pipeline
Attorney General Tim Fox joined a 16-state alliance urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review, and ultimately overturn, a ruling that halted construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a decision that could unnecessarily block pipeline construction and impede economic growth nationwide.
The coalition’s brief, filed Monday, argues a federal appeals court was inaccurate in ruling the U.S. Forest Service lacked authority to grant the Atlantic Coast Pipeline rights-of-way through forestland beneath the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.
“This case has significant implications for Montana as we and neighboring regions continue to develop our vast energy resources that must be delivered to customers and end-users,” Fox said.
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline will transport natural gas through portions of West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. A halt to pipeline construction will cost jobs and lost revenue from income and property taxes.
The attorneys general argue, if left intact, the ruling from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals would transform 1,000 miles of the Appalachian Trail into a near-impenetrable barrier to energy development – all due to a one-tenth of mile crossing on a 600-mile pipeline.
If applied nationwide, the coalition argues the appeals court decision would seal off more than 11,000 miles of federal trails from development and potentially disrupt the national power grid because of the chilling effect it could have on infrastructure investment.
Montana, Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming filed the amicus brief.
The brief is available online: https://dojmt.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019.07.29-amicus.pdf