Barring any additional court injunctions, construction on the long-delayed Mountain Valley pipeline project in West Virginia could resume come July 1.

The compromise debt ceiling deal reached between Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden earlier this month included a provision to speed up construction on the Mountain Valley Pipeline project — despite opposition to that provision by a number of Democrats, including Tim Kaine of Virginia.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline, which is 95 percent complete, has almost all of the “regulatory nods it needs” and can be fully permitted and move forward by July 1, according to U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.

“With the 21-day Corps of Engineers requirement I think you will see people work on this by the first of July,” Capito said of the MVP. “You will see the dirt flying, you will see thousands of people hired to do that work.”

One Democrat who supported the inclusion of the MVP provision into the debt ceiling deal was U.S. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

“This pipeline will lower utility costs for consumers, grow our economy, and make our country stronger all while creating jobs and increasing tax revenue,” Manchin said earlier this week. “This is a historic moment for West Virginia as we continue to provide the energy the rest of the nation relies on and proudly serve as America’s energy MVP.”

The 303-mile, 42-inch diameter pipeline that will carry natural gas from north central West Virginia to Chatham, Va. and beyond, was slated to be finished by late 2018 at a cost of about $3.2 billion. But protests and federal permitting court cases have delayed the project and shot up the cost to about $6.5 billion.

One unfinished section of the project is a 3.5-mile stretch through the Jefferson National Forest across Peters Mountain in Monroe County into Giles County, Va.

Equipment and pipes for the MVP have been sitting dormant in an area beside Route 219 north of Peterstown for months.

While we understand that some individuals in our region may have concerns about the natural gas pipeline project, we also believe that it is long past time for construction on this project to resume.

Remember, we are talking about natural gas that is used to heat our homes during the cold winter months.

Of course, we also realize that additional court filings and injunctions could occur. However, the debt ceiling agreement also specifies that if additional legal questions arise in the case, those court filings will go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in D.C., not the Fourth Circuit in Richmond.

The Fourth Circuit in Richmond has rejected permits for the project nine times in the past, according to Capito. So it is unlikely that the court’s opinion would change in the event of a 10th legal case. Now, if a new legal filing were to arise, at least a new court will get a chance to oversee the case.

With hope we won’t see any additional court delays. The natural gas pipeline project has been delayed for far too long.

The focus now should be on a resumption of construction.