The 600-mile Atlantic coast pipeline is an 8-billion-dollar project. The pipeline is cutting a scar across the Appalachian Mountains to move fracked natural gas from West Virginia to Virginia and North Carolina.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit vacated a permit allowing the pipeline to cross the trail deep underground.
Stretching 2,192 miles from Main to Georgia, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail is the longest and most popular footpath in the world.
The Supreme Court held argument as to what will happen to this massive pipeline project. The Supreme Court case boils down to this: Energy companies received a permit from the U.S. Forest Service allowing pipeline construction through national forests that the agency oversees. But the Appalachian Trail is a unit of the national park system, which the Forest Service does not manage. The National Park Service does. Moreover, federal law prohibits any federal agency from authorizing a pipeline in the national park system.