Sixteen Republican State Attorneys General, led by West Virginia AG Patrick Morrisey, filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to accept the appeal made by the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC (ACP, LLC) to overturn the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision to vacate the U.S. Forest Service permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross the Appalachian Trail.
The ACP, LLC filed its appeal with the Supreme Court on June 25. It was joined in that request by the U.S. Solicitor General.
The AGs’ brief, filed July 29, stated as reasons for its support of the ACP appeal:
- The Fourth Circuit decision was wrong, as it misread the Mineral leasing Act (MLA) and because it undermined the MLA’s goal to balance conservation with energy development;
- Shuttering construction on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline harms states on both ends of its route;
- The decision could severely constrain energy development nationwide; and
- The decision undermines important interests beyond pipeline development. (On this final point, the brief claims that the decision “could thus disable any federal agency from being able to authorize power lines and telecommunications infrastructure across the Appalachian Trail, as well as other trails that cross forest land.”)
Joining WV Attorney General Morrisey (who is the principal author of the brief) in signing on to the brief were the AGs of Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.