Yesterday, in a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the National Forest Service has the power to authorize the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to continue construction under the Appalachian Trail in the George Washington National Forest. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the opinion while Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented.
Up until the Supreme Court decision, construction on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline had been postponed on multiple occasions due a multitude of setbacks handed down by federal courts. The ACP is a joint venture between two Ohio Chamber member companies, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy, and is a planned natural gas pipeline serving the lower Mid-Atlantic region that will help get natural gas where it’s urgently needed to keep up with demand. It will be a job creator and economic game changer for the region. And, while it doesn’t serve Ohio, Ohio has similar needs for new pipeline and improved natural gas transmission infrastructure, so this decision sets an important precedent for when Ohio projects are proposed going forward.
The Ohio Chamber of Commerce, along with six other state chambers and other various organizations, filed an amicus brief in this case back in December 2019 due to the potential threat that critical infrastructure projects, such as pipelines, could face. States like Ohio depend on these types of projects because not only do they provide communities with the energy they rely on, but they also ensure good paying jobs and energy security.
To read the opinion, click here.