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Dominion, Duke, Cancel Atlantic Coast Pipeline After Years of Legal Fights

Back Creek, Lantz Mountain
Back Creek, Lantz Mountain. (Photo: Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition)

Utility giants Dominion Energy and Duke Energy have abandoned the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline. After six years, developers say there are too many obstacles to make the project viable, including ongoing delays, mounting costs and continued legal challenges. 

The more than 600-mile long Atlantic Coast Pipeline was slated to begin in West Virginia and cross through Virginia before ending in North Carolina. 

Dominion and Duke say communities in the region depend on the project for jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue.  Opponents say the natural gas pipeline is unnecessary and would mar landscapes and communities.  

“The Atlantic Coast Pipeline was an anvil that would have stymied investment in renewable energy for decades, harmed vulnerable communities, and crushed mountainsides,” said Greg Buppert, a senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center said in a press release. “But now this risky and unnecessary project is on the scrap heap where it belongs, and the decks are cleared. Virginia and North Carolina can embrace a clean energy future, and people all along the route can finally rest.”

In a joint statement, both companies’ CEOs said that until the legal issues are resolved, the ability to satisfy the country’s energy needs will be significantly challenged.

“The companies remain steadfast in the belief that fuel diversity, including renewables, nuclear, and natural gas, is critical for reliably and sustainably serving our customers and communities,” the statement said. 

Just last month the U.S. Supreme Court removed a crucial obstacle for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline when it reversed a lower court decision allowing developers to tunnel beneath the Appalachian Trail.

Whittney Evans is VPM News’ features editor.
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