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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Run from West Virginia to North Carolina that pipeline would cut through the Appalachian Trail near the wintergreen resort in the Blue Ridge mountains but so far in fire metal groups and local residents have successfully stopped it while dominion energy and other builders are appealing to the High Court hoping to have that ban overturned joining us for a deeper dive into the case Washington post Aprimo court reporter Robert Bob Barnes good to have you back thank you so much my pleasure so if you drive through that region you see yard signs everywhere that say no pipeline explain what the legal issue is here well there are a number of legal issues but the one that the Supreme Court looked at today was who has the right to grant a right of way for the company to build this pipeline across or more appropriately under the Appalachian Trail the U. S. Forest Service says that it does because this is in a part of the George Washington National Forest that the Appalachian Trail passes through but the environmentalists say that no agency can do that because of some laws that Congress passed protecting the Appalachian Trail in saying that it's actually part of the National Park Service and so and that the law says you know you can't disrupt the Appalachian Trail that way so it it made for something of a what several justices called a metaphysical argument at the court today about you know is the Appalachian Trail just on top of the land or does it include the land underneath so that metaphysical discussion did not Sattar told did not give you an opportunity to get a sense of where the justices are on this we'll do it a little bit I think that it appeared that and it's always hard to judge completely from oral argument that they were a majority thought well the Appalachian Trail can't serve as sort of what I think Chief Justice Roberts called an impermeable barrier to getting natural resources to the west but to where people live on the east of it but you know it was a it's it's a complicated argument about who you know gets to make these decisions you know the other thing to point out is that this pipeline would go would be built six hundred feet beneath the trail and so that seems to make a lot of difference to to justice says Stephen prior one of the liberals on the court in general the liberals seem to side with the environmentalists on this but he was one that didn't seem as convinced interesting to see how this all plays out thanks for joining us thanks Bob my pleasure Washington post a pre court reporter Robert Barnes to forty four John.