In a significant victory for the liberal American environmental lobby (and a major defeat for U.S. president Donald Trump), Virginia-based Dominion Energy and North Carolina-based Duke Energy have decided to pull the plug on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline – a 600-mile energy artery that would have brought 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from the Ohio Valley area across the Appalachian mountain range to the southeastern United States.
The decision was announced on Sunday afternoon – just three weeks after the U.S. supreme court ruled (as expected) that the pipeline could cross the Appalachian Trail over the objection of environmentalists.
Despite the positive ruling, Duke and Dominion are opting not to complete the $8 billion project.
“This announcement reflects the increasing legal uncertainty that overhangs large-scale energy and industrial infrastructure development in the United States,” the companies said in a joint statement. “Until these issues are resolved, the ability to satisfy the country’s energy needs will be significantly challenged.”
We concur …
With eco-radicals perpetually erecting barriers to projects like this one, America’s energy independence very much hangs in the balance. Also, these eco-radicals clearly fail to realize the natural gas boom remains the nation’s best hope to continue reducing carbon emissions as renewable sources continue to develop.
Or, they do realize it and just don’t care …
This news outlet has embraced expanded natural gas development.
“While we support the market-based development of renewable energy sources it is clear that for the foreseeable future meaningful reduction in carbon dioxide emissions will come from expanded natural gas development,” we wrote back in November.
Also, last spring we posted a column detailing the extent to which natural gas was the “real hero” of the American energy revolution of the last decade – not to mention the “real reason there are fewer coal-burning plants” in America.
It is, quite simply, a “bridge” energy source as renewables come online.
And without this bridge in place, fewer coal plants will be taken offline.
Intended to run from Harrison County, West Virginia to Robeson County, North Carolina, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would have transported gas from the Marcellus Shale to within twenty miles of the South Carolina border. In fact, Dominion chief executive officer Thomas Farrell previously stated that he wanted to see the project extended into the Palmetto State.
“We would like to bring the pipeline to South Carolina if the demand is there,” the Dominion leader said last year.
At the same time it was announcing its decision on the pipeline, Dominion also revealed it was selling its natural gas transmission and storage assets to Berkshire Hathaway in a deal that will net the company $9.7 billion. Berkshire Hathaway will also assume a 25 percent ownership stake in Dominion’s Cove Point liquefied natural gas facility as part of the deal.
Dominion sold another 25 percent stake in Cove Point – which is located on the western short of Chesapeake Bay in Lusby, Maryland – to Brookfield Super-Core Infrastructure Partners for $2 billion last fall.
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