Congresswoman Deborah Ross (NC-02) joined Representatives Jennifer McClellan (VA-04), Valerie Foushee (NC-04), Kathy Manning (NC-06), Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), and 27 House Democrats in a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) urging the Commission to deny Mountain Valley Pipeline’s (MVP) requested extension of its Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the Southgate project. The certificate is needed for construction of a 73-mile proposed extension of the MVP, which would span from southern Virginia into northwestern North Carolina. 

Construction of MVP Southgate poses serious climate and environmental justice risks, including risks to drinking water quality. According to the North Carolina Department of Environment Quality (DEQ), MVP Southgate would impact 301,994 square feet of regulated riparian buffers; 13,986 linear feet of streams; and 12.4 acres of wetlands. 

“As Members of Congress committed to addressing the climate crisis, we… urge the Commission to deny an extension of the Certificate for MVP Southgate,” wrote the lawmakers. “If built, this pipeline would lock homes and businesses in the Southeast into the long-term use of natural gas during a critical moment in which we must transition away from fossil fuels to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.”

Since the initial filing for Southgate, Congress has taken historic action to fight climate change and advance clean energy technologies through passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. The law invests billions of federal dollars to support residential and commercial alternatives to natural gas. 

“In the five years since the Southgate extension was proposed, the energy landscape has continued to evolve, further diminishing the need for additional gas for residential purposes,” continued the lawmakers. “Clean energy generation continues to grow, and home electrification has become more accessible through the passage of federal climate and clean energy legislation… Given this changed landscape, the Commission should not rely on its previous and now outdated determination that there is a market need for this pipeline.” 

The Southgate project was not covered under the Fiscal Responsibility Act provisions for the automatic approval of the MVP mainline.

Read the full letter here