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Mountain Valley Pipeline To Proceed

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Enactment of Federal Legislation to Raise U.S. Debt Limit Ratifies and Expedites Approvals, Declares Project Completion in National Interest

CANONSBURG, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–On June 3, 2023, the President of the United States signed legislation that raises the Nation’s debt limit and ratifies and approves all permits and authorizations necessary for the construction and initial operation of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) and directs the applicable federal officials and agencies to maintain such authorizations. Further, and not later than June 24, 2023, the legislation requires the Secretary of the Army to issue all permits or verifications necessary to complete project construction and allow for MVP’s operation and maintenance. The legislation also divests courts of jurisdiction to review agency actions on approvals necessary for MVP construction and initial operation. Given the legislation, and assuming the timely issuance of the few remaining authorizations, Equitrans Midstream, operator of the MVP, intends to work with its project partners to complete construction of the MVP project by year-end 2023, at an estimated total project cost of approximately $6.6 billion.

“We are grateful for the full support of the White House, the strong bipartisan leadership of Democratic and Republican legislators, the resolute dedication of Senator Capito, and the unwavering commitment of Chairman Manchin for recognizing and declaring MVP as a critical energy infrastructure project,” said Thomas F. Karam, chairman and chief executive officer of Equitrans Midstream.

Karam continued, “The MVP project has gone through more environmental review and scrutiny than any natural gas pipeline project in U.S. history, having been issued the same state and federal authorizations two and three times, only to have those authorizations be routinely challenged and vacated in court. Congressional involvement to legislate the approval of this project only magnifies the critical need for more robust and comprehensive permitting reform that goes beyond the important initial steps in this legislation. Absent a more certain regulatory review and approval process, we are impeding companies’ ability to invest capital, including in renewable projects, for the benefit of our Nation’s economy, energy security, and energy affordability.”

The approval of this legislation expressly acknowledges the efforts of the state and federal agencies that have invested countless hours and worked diligently to develop comprehensive plans for constructing the pipeline with the least possible impact to the environment. Furthermore, the legislation recognizes the many benefits of the MVP in advancing our energy security, bolstering our ability to effectively transition to a lower-carbon economy, and providing energy reliability and affordability for American consumers.

Spanning approximately 303 miles across West Virginia and Virginia, MVP will provide cost-effective access to natural gas for use by local distribution companies, industrial users, and power generation facilities in growing demand markets of the mid-Atlantic and southeast regions of the United States. With the enactment of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, Mountain Valley will continue to work closely with all relevant agencies in reissuing the project’s few outstanding permits and will maintain its steadfast commitment to environmental protection to ensure the responsible completion of the project’s remaining construction.

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The full text of the legislation can be found at Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023.

About Equitrans Midstream Corporation

Equitrans Midstream Corporation has a premier asset footprint in the Appalachian Basin and, as the parent company of EQM Midstream Partners, is one of the largest natural gas gatherers in the United States. Through its strategically located infrastructure assets in the Marcellus and Utica regions, Equitrans has an operational focus on gas transmission and storage systems, gas gathering systems, and water services that support natural gas development and production across the Basin. With a rich 140-year history in the energy industry, Equitrans was launched as a standalone company in 2018 with a vision to be the premier midstream services provider in North America. While working to meet America’s growing need for clean-burning energy, Equitrans is proud of its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices, striving every day to preserve and protect the environment, provide an engaging workplace for its employees, support and enrich its local communities, and to deliver sustained value for customers and shareholders. Visit www.equitransmidstream.com; and to learn more about our ESG practices visit Equitrans Sustainability Reporting.

About Mountain Valley Pipeline

The Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) is a proposed underground, interstate natural gas pipeline system that spans approximately 303 miles from northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia. Subject to regulatory oversight by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the MVP will be constructed and owned by Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC, Series A – a joint venture of Equitrans Midstream Corporation; NextEra Capital Holdings, Inc.; Con Edison Transmission, Inc.; WGL Midstream MVP LLC; and RGC Midstream, LLC. The MVP was designed to transport clean-burning natural gas from the prolific Marcellus and Utica shale regions to the growing demand markets in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast areas of the United States. Equitrans Midstream, primary interest owner, will operate the pipeline. From planning and development to construction and in-service operations – MVP is dedicated to the safety of its communities, employees, and contractors, and to the preservation and protection of the environment. Visit www.mountainvalleypipeline.info

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Secretary of State launches WVBAT to combat human trafficking in the Mountain State

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From WVSOS

On October 10th, the WV Secretary of State’s Office officially launched West Virginia Businesses Against Trafficking (WVBAT). WVBAT is a statewide coalition of businesses and business owners who will use their storefronts and facilities to raise awareness of the state’s “You Can” campaign against human trafficking.

To understand the role WVBAT plays in West Virginia’s campaign to end this evil requires shedding light on a deplorable side of modern society that we would rather not have to address.

But, let me be clear, human trafficking does occur in West Virginia. Sex trafficking and labor trafficking are both crimes that can be hidden in plain sight. Victims can be of any age, gender, nationality, or race. A trafficker can even be a family member or guardian trafficking a child in exchange for money, drugs, and other valuables. In some cases, a victim may not even be aware that they are being trafficked or know how to ask for help.

The “You Can” campaign prioritizes public awareness because knowledge is our greatest asset in fighting human trafficking. Businesses can support victims by providing access to potentially lifesaving information available in public areas they frequent. Information on what qualifies as human trafficking and how to seek or send signals for help may make all the difference to a victim who does not have access to, or is unable to use, a cellphone or computer.

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Customers and employees of businesses who may be witnesses to human trafficking also play a role in combatting the problem. Being educated on the signs of trafficking could lead to a report of actionable intelligence to local law enforcement. Information provided to WVBAT business partners for display in their stores provides valuable insight on common indicators and how to submit a tip.

My petition to business owners considering a partnership with WVBAT is simple: if your participation can assist in rescuing even one victim in your community, is this not a cause worth championing? Imagine the incredible impact of every truck stop, hospital, grocery store, gas station, department store and hotel within the state becoming a force multiplier for identifying traffickers and victims. West Virginia has an opportunity to become a national leader in this effort and inspire others.

Membership in the WVBAT program is free and open to any business that is operating in West Virginia and shares a commitment to promote awareness of human trafficking. Upon signing up as a member, the business will be provided with a certificate of membership to be displayed; a packet of educational materials and display items for businesses to educate the public about available resources; and continuing training and educational opportunities to assist in the education and empowerment of those in our communities.

Please join us in fighting this evil. Learn the indications of trafficking, learn the signs of “help” by those being trafficked, and help spread the word that there are people and agencies willing to help.

Read the entire story here: WVBAT: West Virginia businesses can help fight human trafficking in the state

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Coalfield Development Selects Jacob Hannah as New CEO

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Last week, Coalfield Development Corporation’s Board of Directors unanimously approved Jacob Hannah, current Chief Conservation Officer, to be the next Chief Executive Officer of the West Virginia-based nonprofit. Hannah will assume the position effective January 1, 2024.

The October 17th vote occurred after a month’s long search process involving more than 40 applicants for the position.

“I am incredibly honored and excited for this opportunity to continue to serve Appalachia in this dynamic and transformative role. And through the innovative succession model that Brandon Dennison has thoughtfully established for this role transition, I heartily believe that our organization is stepping into a new phase that will empower the momentum for a truly just transition,” Hannah said.

Hannah replaces Coalfield’s founder and current CEO, Brandon Dennison, who was named Vice President of Economic Development at Marshall University in July of this year. Dennison will continue supporting Coalfield Development as Executive President. In this new role, Dennison will help shape strategy, partnerships, and fundraising. Coalfield’s new leadership model resembles the CEO/Executive Chair model more prominent in for-profits.

“This is an important milestone for Coalfield Development. I am genuinely excited for the organization, and I have complete confidence in Jacob as the new CEO. He is going to lead this organization to achieve greater impact than ever before, but he’ll do it with integrity, compassion, and creativity,” Dennison said.

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Dennison added, “Jacob is the right leader at the right time for our region. He has lived the mission of Coalfield Development, growing up in a coal mining family. Since joining us in 2018 Jacob has served multiple leadership roles within the organization, standing up entirely new programs and supervising more than 25 employees. And Jacob has been instrumental in the ACT Now Coalition, which recently brought $100 million of new investment to southern West Virginia.”

Coalfield Development Board of Directors President Kenzie New Walker applauded the diligent efforts of the board’s search committee.

“I want to commend our search committee for shepherding such a strong hiring process. This committee was diligent and persistent in running a thorough search which connected our organization with high caliber candidates. Jacob rose to the top of this competitive group, and we’re we appreciate all the applicants who applied,” she said.  

Hannah has been an employee of Coalfield Development for five years. He previously held the role of Chief Conservation Officer.

“I come from three generations of coal mining in my family, and I am a 5th generation West Virginian. My leadership style is to integrate an empathetic and grounded approach to the strategy of triple-bottom line sustainability; balancing People, Planet, and Prosperity in harmony with each other with a lens towards a fair and just transition.

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Hannah’s work intersects the throughline of environmental considerations with social wellbeing and economic development.

“This is truly an exciting time to be at Coalfield Development and the work we are doing to better the lives of our Appalachian communities,” he said.

About Coalfield Development: Coalfield Development is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization headquartered in Huntington, West Virginia focusing on rebuilding the Appalachian economy through social enterprise creation, job training, and community-based real-estate development.

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Congresswoman Miller Leads Efforts in Introducing “Unfair Tax Prevention Act”

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In a bid to protect American businesses and level the playing field, Congresswoman Carol Miller has spearheaded the introduction of the Unfair Tax Prevention Act. This groundbreaking bill aims to curb unfair taxation practices and foster a more competitive business environment.

The bill seeks to address a pressing concern for many entrepreneurs and businesses across the nation. Unfair taxation has long been a challenge, with some companies facing burdensome taxes that hinder growth and innovation. The Unfair Tax Prevention Act comes as a beacon of hope, promising much-needed relief for these struggling businesses.

The core focus of the bill is to promote fairness and transparency in the tax system. One of the key provisions aims to put an end to convoluted tax loopholes that have allowed certain corporations to exploit the system, leading to an uneven playing field for their competitors. By closing these loopholes, Congresswoman Miller and her colleagues are taking a vital step towards a more equitable business landscape.

Additionally, the Unfair Tax Prevention Act introduces measures to simplify the tax code, making it more accessible and manageable for small businesses. This streamlined approach is expected to reduce compliance costs and bureaucratic red tape, allowing companies to direct their resources toward productive ventures rather than getting tangled in complex tax regulations. By providing tax credits for research and development investments, the bill encourages companies to explore new technologies and create cutting-edge products, bolstering economic growth and job opportunities.

The Congresswoman, known for her bipartisan approach, has garnered support from across the aisle for the Unfair Tax Prevention Act. Both Democrats and Republicans recognize the significance of this legislation in bolstering the nation’s economy and promoting job creation.

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In a statement regarding the bill, Congresswoman Miller expressed her optimism, saying, “The Unfair Tax Prevention Act is a crucial step towards empowering American businesses and ensuring their success in a competitive global marketplace. By leveling the playing field and encouraging innovation, we can set our economy on a path of sustained growth and prosperity.”

As the bill progresses through the legislative process, Congresswoman Carol Miller remains determined to support businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, is a testament to her dedication to the economic well-being of the nation.

The Unfair Tax Prevention Act, championed by Congresswoman Carol Miller, represents a significant milestone in the pursuit of fair taxation and economic growth. With its focus on closing loopholes, simplifying the tax code, and incentivizing innovation, the bill has the potential to transform the business landscape, benefiting companies, workers, and consumers alike.

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