The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Joe Manchin’s bill is bad for the environment — and investors

Eric Weltman of Food and Water Action demonstrates in Washington with Appalachian and Indigenous climate advocates against the Mountain Valley Pipeline on Sept. 8. (Craig Hudson for The Washington Post)

Stacy Lovelace’s Sept. 26 letter, “The poster child for reform,” explained the science about why investors are leery that new natural gas projects will quickly become expensive stranded assets.

Methane (natural gas) is an extreme-weather accelerant. Businesses and investors don’t like the disruptions and uncertainties caused by the escalation of extreme-weather events.

An act of Congress can’t save the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) companies from incompetence in executing the project. Madison Avenue’s slick propaganda won’t be enough to cover the escalating financial risks facing the MVP to entice investors to support the project.

Sen. Joe Manchin III’s (D-W.Va.) hypocritically named Energy Independence and Security Act of 2022 would confirm investors’ skepticism that energy agencies can’t protect them from boondoggles such as the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Investors are done with being burned from energy boondoggles because of a lack of government diligence in issuing permits and oversight of projects. Investors are demanding climate risk transparency for stranded fossil fuel assets.

The Securities and Exchange Commission responded to investor demands for climate transparency by proposing rule changes for companies to include climate risk.

Our national security depends on reducing methane emissions by eliminating projects such as the MVP. The Defense Department’s 2021 Interim National Security Strategic Guidance clearly identified climate change as one of the most significant threats facing the United States.

Congress and President Biden must protect our national security, economy and environment by opposing Mr. Manchin’s bill.

Freeda Cathcart, Roanoke

The writer is an energy investor who carried the successfully passed 2022 Dominion Energy shareholder resolution to report on the risk and impacts of natural gas use.