CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Efforts to complete a big natural gas pipeline in West Virginia and Virginia have been dealt another setback.

Efforts to get this item in the National Defense Bill failed Thursday night, but senators fight on.

At issue is a bill in Congress to speed up the permitting process for energy projects. In this case, that could fast-track the completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which runs from northern West Virginia to southeast of Roanoke, and eventually into North Carolina. Supporters say it will offer enormous amounts of natural gas to fuel this country, and sell to our allies overseas.

“Part of that is what they call energy security, energy independence. you cannot be a superpower in the world if you do not have energy independence. And you can’t be secured if you don’t have energy independence,” said Sen. Joe Manchin (D) West Virginia.

“I don’t think it’s dead in other words. I think it’s something we will have to come back to, time and again until we are successful,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R) West Virginia.

Senators could add another amendment to the overall spending bill, to include the pipeline permitting, before a final vote next week. A similar amendment failed in the Senate Thursday night.

Many environmentalists oppose the measure out of concerns over air and water pollution.
Last week, the controversial Keystone Pipeline had a leak in Kansas, that dumped thousands of barrels of oil in that state.

The temporary spending bill to keep the government open only lasts for one week. So you can expect this pipeline measure may be added to the entire spending bill when it comes up for a final vote next week.