In December, the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a permit allowing the Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline to cross the Appalachian Trail in Virginia.
According to the court, the Forest Service does not have authority to give permission for pipeline construction on federal land, however Dominion Energy and the U.S. Department of Justice recently made an appeal to the Supreme Court to overturn this decision.
56 pipelines are already in place crossing through the Appalachian Trail, and if the Atlantic Coast pipeline is not allowed through, Dominion observes that it could make the Trail into a barrier between consumers in the east and resource-rich areas in the west.
Josh Price, senior analyst at Heigh Capital Markets, says, “We believe the [Supreme] Court may view this as an issue of national importance…if the court declines to take up the case or upholds the ruling, we anticipate [Atlantic Coast] owners may cancel the projects.”