On February 24, the ACP and the Government stood in front of the Supreme Court to present their case that the Appalachian Trail crossing in question is U.S. Forest Service land. We believe we’ve made a strong case and are hopeful the Supreme Court will overturn the lower court’s ruling to uphold the longstanding precedent allowing crossings for this kind of necessary infrastructure. A positive decision will help us resume construction this summer and ensure it is completed by the end of 2021 to be in-service shortly thereafter.
We remain confident the law and the facts are on our side and have many supporters behind us. The U.S. Solicitor General, 18 state Attorneys General, more than 60 members of Congress, 17 forestry associations, and dozens of industry and labor organizations all agree that the Forest Service has the authority to approve our Appalachian Trail crossing.
More than 50 other pipelines already cross underneath the Appalachian Trail without disturbing its public use and the ACP will be no different. By installing the pipeline 700 feet below the surface and more than a half-mile from each side, people hiking by the crossing will not see, hear or even know the pipeline is there. Environmental stewardship of the lands the pipeline traverses has been a top priority since day one.
The ACP is more important now than ever as we address chronic shortages of gas in Hampton Roads, Virginia, and eastern North Carolina, and as we move away from coal and toward more renewables in the region. It will support home heating, military bases and businesses, and help to make our region’s energy cleaner.
For more, read an article from the New York Times on the oral arguments, read the transcript from the oral argument here, or listen to the oral arguments online here.