WASHINGTON — One day after the House approved the debt-limit bill, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) worked to un-do a provision in the measure having to do with the Mountain Valley Pipeline project.
It is a natural gas pipeline system that spans 303 miles from northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia
Backers of the plan say it would boost U.S. energy infrastructure and jobs in Appalachia and the Southeast.
However, it would cut through the Jefferson National Forest and cross hundreds of waterways and wetlands
The House-passed version of the debt limit deal orders expedited approval of all permits needed to complete the pipeline, which has been opposed by climate and conservation groups as well as local residents along its path.
Kaine authored an amendment to remove the pipeline provision from the bill.
"I think it's frankly an outrageous giveaway that is unjustified and nearly unprecedented in what Congress would do," he said.
Meanwhile, a half-dozen protestors gathered outside Norfolk's World Trade Center to urge Virginia's other Senator, Mark Warner, to oppose the pipeline provision.
"Our brothers and sisters in Appalachia has been fighting this for 10 years. This pipeline has destroyed lives," said Lynn Godfrey from the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter.
A spokesman for Warner told 13 News Now: "While Senator Warner plans to vote for the bipartisan deal President Biden negotiated in order to avert a catastrophic debt default, he opposes the inclusion of language pertaining to the Mountain Valley Pipeline and will support Senator Kaine's amendment to remove it."
On the House side, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Virginia, 3rd District) voted no, citing the pipeline provision as a reason.
He said, "Sidestepping regulatory agencies and the courts undermines environmental safety."
Rep. Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia, 2nd District) and Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Virginia, 1st District) voted yes for the bill.
So did Rep. Jennifer McClellan (D-Virginia, 4th District).