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Duke, Dominion Cancel Contested Atlantic Coast Pipeline


The developers of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline have announced they are canceling the multi-state natural gas project due to delays and “increasing cost uncertainty.”

Despite a recent victory before the U.S. Supreme Court over a critical permit, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy said in a statement Sunday that “recent developments have created an unacceptable layer of uncertainty and anticipated delays” for the $8 billion project designed to cross West Virginia and Virginia into North Carolina.

The project has drawn fierce opposition from a coalition of landowners, activists and environmental advocates.

At Appalachian Voices, one of many environmental groups that fought the project, Peter Anderson declared the decision a victory for consumers.

“Because both Duke Energy in North Carolina and Dominion Energy Virginia were planning to pass the cost on to their electric customers, so the fact that we won’t have that extra cost added to electric bills is huge," he said.  

Appalachian Voices had been battling the ACP since plans were first announced in 2014 – arguing the construction of a pipeline to transport fracked gas from West Virginia to North Carolina would make climate change worse. 

“We needed to be heading towards a clean, renewable energy future, and given that these are 40-plus year investments, and we knew we don’t have that long to be burning fossil fuels," Anderson said.

At the Southern Environmental Law Center, senior attorney Greg Buppert said the world had changed since 2014 when Dominion first unveiled its plans.  He says over the last six years, there’s been a shift away from fossil fuel generation in Virginia, culminating this year, with the General Assembly passing the Clean Economy Act.

“That bill gets Dominion out of the gas-fired power generation business by 2045, so why would we need this if we weren’t going to have gas-fired power plants in Virginia anymore," Buppert said.  The Southern Environmental Law Center is a financial supporter of Radio IQ.

In a statement, The Sierra Club says this announcement “adds to the mountain of evidence that we do not require fracked gas to meet our energy needs.”

Dominion also announced Sunday that it was selling its natural gas transmission and storage business to Berkshire Hathaway Energy for almost $10 billion.

Read the complete announcement here

Sandy Hausman is Radio IQ's Charlottesville Bureau Chief
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