Mountain Valley Pipeline has announced plans to achieve carbon neutrality for its operational emissions, beginning with MVP’s in-service and continuing for its initial 10 years of operations. This would make MVP one of the first interstate natural gas transmission pipelines in the U.S. to fully offset carbon emissions from its operations.
MVP’s effort is entirely voluntary and is one element of Mountain Valley’s broader efforts to protect the environment while meeting public need for affordable, domestic energy. Mountain Valley will spend more than $150 million on carbon offsets during the first 10 years of MVP’s in-service operations.
The cornerstone of the plan will come through support for a new methane abatement project in southwest Virginia, which will use a regenerative thermal oxidizer to capture methane vented from a metallurgical coal mine and convert it to water vapor and carbon dioxide. The project is expected to be the largest of its kind in the world and will cut statewide underground coal mining emissions by about 25 percent.
“Without abatement efforts such as Mountain Valley’s plan, mining activities will continue to emit thousands of tons of greenhouse gases,” David Johnson, former director of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and a former chief deputy/director of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, wrote in the Roanoke Times. “This plan will set the stage to avert that.”
The offsets will be verified annually and registered with the nonprofit American Carbon Registry, and they will comply with standards set by the California Air Resources Board, widely regarded as the most rigorous offset standards in the market today. MVP also is pursuing additional greenhouse gas abatement projects in West Virginia, including a substantial effort to address abandoned and orphaned gas wells, and employing other strategies to minimize its emissions.
In the past several years, Mountain Valley has provided millions of dollars to support conservation of more than 4,500 acres of land; support tree and vegetation planting and monitoring; and support water quality protection, restoration and improvement priorities.
More information on MVP’s timeline and status is available here.