Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Tuesday that his office joined 18 other states in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling that blocked construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, according to a news release from the office.
Paxton says the court ruling impedes the nation’s economic growth.
The coalition argues that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit incorrectly ruled the U.S. Forest Service lacked authority to grant the Atlantic Coast Pipeline rights-of-way through forestland beneath federal trails, according to the news release.
“This pipeline is important for creating jobs and the effective transportation of natural gas, and impeding this pipeline’s development shows a disregard for both.” Paxton said in a statement. “We must take a stand to protect hardworking Americans, continue to boost our growing economy, and preserve the security of our national power grid.”
The pipeline will transport natural gas through parts of Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina.
Energy companies building the pipeline say it will provide 17,000 short-term construction jobs and 2,200 long-term jobs. They say the pipeline will provide $37.8 million in annual economic activity in Virginia alone and its consumers are expected to save $243 on energy bills between 2019 and 2038.
Critics of the pipeline, including former Vice President Al Gore, warned of potential harm caused to the environment and through eminent domain laws, which will allow the pipeline builders to take some privately held land for which they must compensate the owner.
The halting of the pipeline construction has already cost jobs and lost revenue, Paxton says.
Texas joined Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming in supporting the West Virginia-led brief.
This article was first published by The Center Square.