U.S. Fourth Circuit Court Vacates Key Permit for Atlantic Coast Pipe

Disgusting and frustrating. That’s our reaction to a decision by the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that invalidates (vacates) a permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that allows Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) to accidentally kill a few bats and bumble bees (classified as endangered) as it builds the massive $6.5 billion, 600-mile project from West Virginia to North Carolina. The Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife and Virginia Wilderness Committee (all radical left organizations) previously sued in federal court asking the court to stop work on ACP until the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission makes a decision on whether or not to “rehear” their decision to approve the project in the first place. In March, the court declined to stop work on ACP (see Fed Court Dismisses Anti Lawsuit to Stop Atlantic Coast Pipeline). However, as part of the effort to stop ACP, Sierra Club, et al also asked the court to invalidate a key permit by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which the court did do on Tuesday. Sierra Club is now demanding that the court revisit its decision about whether to stop all work on the pipeline. In the meantime, work does continue. Dominion says while it’s disappointed in the decision and will have to get a new, more specific permit from Fish and Wildlife, in the meantime they’ll continue construction in those (many) places not under the now-invalid permit. That is, most construction will continue. This does not really hamper the project. Not yet anyway. As long as the Fourth Circuit doesn’t shut it all down…

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