The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday, July 25 that landowners cannot bring a constitutional challenge to the Natural Gas Act to the Circuit Court, and must instead take the issue to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the very body whose acting power the suit challenges.
Statement from Roberta Bondurant, Co-Chair for Protect Our Water Heritage Rights and Representative of Preserve Bent Mountain:
“We as landowners and advocates for environmental and individual protections are disappointed in the Fourth Circuit’s ruling on this constitutional challenge. To tell landowners who are facing ongoing destruction of their homesteads and long-time family farms that they must turn to the agency that has failed them time and again to question the very law that created the agency is a direct denial of timely justice. We look forward to considerations of next steps on this case, in addition to decisions still forthcoming from the Fourth Circuit in cases involving DEQ and Forest Service permits. Despite this ruling, we fully intend to continue challenging the regulatory process that allows dangerous and unnecessary projects like the Mountain Valley Pipeline to move forward, and residents and concerned citizens will continue to work as volunteer watchdogs to hold both the company and failing agencies accountable to the people of Appalachia.”