Dominion Building

{span}This April 28, 2015, file photo shows two Dominion Energy buildings in downtown Richmond, Va. The developers of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline announced Sunday, July 5, 2020, that they are canceling the multi-state natural gas project, citing delays and increasing cost uncertainty.{/span}

The developers of the long-delayed, $8 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline announced the cancellation of the multi-state natural gas project Sunday, citing uncertainties about costs, permitting and litigation.

Despite a victory last month at the United States Supreme Court over a critical permit, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy said in a news release that “recent developments have created an unacceptable layer of uncertainty and anticipated delays” for the 600-mile (965-kilometer) project designed to cross West Virginia and Virginia into North Carolina.

The companies said a recent pair of court rulings that have thrown into question a permitting program used around the nation to approve oil and gas pipelines and other utility work through wetlands and streams presented “new and serious challenges.”

“This new information and litigation risk, among other continuing execution risks, make the project too uncertain to justify investing more shareholder capital,” the news release said.

The massive infrastructure project, announced with much fanfare in 2014, had drawn fierce opposition from many landowners, activists and environmental advocates, who said it would damage pristine landscapes and harm wildlife. Getting the project built would have involved tree removal and blasting and leveling some ridgetops as the pipe, 42 inches (1 meter) in diameter for much of its path, crossed mountains, hundreds of water bodies and other sensitive terrain and burrowed underneath the Appalachian Trail.

Opponents also questioned whether there was sufficient need for the gas it would carry and said it would further encourage the use of a fossil fuel at a time when climate change makes a shift to renewable energy imperative.

Legal challenges brought by environmental groups prompted the dismissal or suspension of numerous permits and led to an extended delay in construction. The project was years behind schedule and the anticipated cost had ballooned from the original estimate of $4.5 billion to $5 billion.

Reaction poured in Sunday from the project’s opponents, who lauded the demise of the project.

“If anyone still had questions about whether or not the era of fracked gas was over, this should answer them. Today is a historic victory for clean water, the climate, public health, and our communities,” Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said in a statement.

The project’s supporters said the pipeline would create jobs, help aid the transition away from coal and lower energy costs for consumers. Economic development officials in distressed parts of the three states it would run through had hoped that the greater availability of natural gas would help draw heavy manufacturing companies.

“Unfortunately, today’s announcement detrimentally impacts the Commonwealth’s access to affordable, reliable energy,” the Virginia Chamber of Commerce said in a statement. “It also demonstrates the significant regulatory burdens businesses must deal with in order to operate.”

U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said in a statement the project was killed by the “well-funded, obstructionist environmental lobby.”

“The Trump Administration wants to bring the benefits of reliable and affordable energy of all kinds to all Americans,” Brouillette said. “Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the activists who killed this project.”

Separately, Dominion, which is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, and serves more than 7 million customers in 20 states, announced it had agreed to sell “substantially all” of its gas transmission and storage segment assets to an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway. The transaction was valued at $9.7 billion, the company said.

The assets involved in the sale include more than 7,700 miles (12,300 kilometers) of natural gas storage and transmission pipelines and about 900 billion cubic feet of gas storage that Dominion currently operates, the company said.

Duke, which is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, is one of the country’s largest energy holding companies.

Duke has previously pledged to reach net-zero carbon emissions from its electric generation by 2050, and Dominion has committed to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the same year.

A third partner in the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Southern Company, sold its small stake in the project earlier this year to Dominion, the lead developer. Dominion had asserted its commitment to seeing the project through as recently as mid-June, when it asked federal regulators for an extension of time to get the project into service.

“We regret that we will be unable to complete the Atlantic Coast Pipeline,” Dominion CEO Tom Farrell and Duke CEO Lynn Good said in a joint statement. “For almost six years we have worked diligently and invested billions of dollars to complete the project and deliver the much-needed infrastructure to our customers and communities.”

(53) comments

loudoun fan

As long as the people cheering this development are the first in line to pay higher utility rates, accept rolling blackouts and refuse to tax us to pay for the cost to the environment or the return to coal fired power plants.

Voltaire

Loudoun Fan--actually everyone who receives electric service from Dominion Energy will be charged 3% higher electric rates for, I believe, over the next decade due to pay for net zero carbon emissions.

LetsBreal

That's 3% that will not be spent somewhere else by the consumer. When you start engineering winners and losers in the economy, it causes dislocations in other parts of the economy. That's 3% that won't be spent in bookstores, home improvement, donations to organizations, dining out, or whatever the EARNER would have decided to spend their money on. This is not just going on for "net zero carbon emissions", but for any other agendas do-gooders push. See the Soviet Union, Cuba, the Iron Curtain countries and in particular "command economies" for what eventually collapsed them by rigid central planners.

amerigirl

Rolling blackouts and brown outs are from excessive strain on the electric system.

LetsBreal

Yeah, for example, solar and wind energy not able to meet baseload.

LoudounPulse

The left should also realize that because of fracking, it has pushed down the price of NatGas, allowing power companies to switch from Coal to NatGas. Because NatGas is 50% cleaner than Coal, the environment has benefited from a 50% reduction in pollution without a single piece of legislation making it happen. But if environmentalists want to railroad NatGas and drive up the price, don't be surprised if we migrate back to Coal as the cheaper alternative. Don't forget those Green-Clean Tesla vehicles need electricity from "reliable" sources. I bet half the people calling for Solar/Wind don't realize that when the sun sets or the wind stops, the NatGas takes over. Surely they wouldn't want Coal to backup Solar & Wind.

amerigirl

ou should realize that not everyone on the left thinks the same, just a scapegoat for you. The right should realize that fracking causes earthquakes in 2 different ways. The planned small quakes from injecting the fluid, and the quakes give access to the gas. Also from disposal of fracking wastewater via underground injection. Some are small but others cause damage like a 5.7 magnitude quake near Prague, Oklahoma, damaged 14 homes and other structures in the area. Ok has gone from less than 5 quakes a year to over 30. If anything, we should migrate towards solar and wind power. They are reliable, they store the energy or did you believe trump when he said that the lights go out when it’s not windy, or that they cause cancer? That’s not how it works, people with solar can even sell their excess energy to the power companies. No gas does not take over when it’s dark or not windy. It is stored in batteries vs tanks. Where do you think the teslas store their energy?

Voltaire

AG--we should also continue to use nuclear power. There are numerous advantages to using nuclear power to generate electricity including: (1) provides enormous capacity; (2) you can reuse the fuel from nuclear energy projects; (3) nuclear power helps to reduce greenhouse gases; and many other reasons.

amerigirl

I used to think so but then you have to have someplace that can store the waste, it takes a long time for the radiation to clear, usually years. If it weren't for that it would be perfect.

LoudounClear

++nuclear Waste is a problem but one of these days we'll just blast it into space...the ultimate dump.

LoudounClear

Coal is over. The environment benefits from natural gas over coal but fracking isn't environmentally a free-ride. You missed that point in your lecture to us. Not a left / right issue unless you just have to force it there to know what you're supposed to think.

Voltaire

LoudounClear--I don't think that coal is over. Emerging Economies like to use coal and export large quantities of it.

LetSanityPrevail

It is very optimistic to believe renewables will replace our energy generation in the near future. For example, if you are looking towards solar, the geographic footprint to generate all of Loudoun's needs (homes, businesses and yes our burgeoning data centers) would require the use of over 50 square miles of land. This is assuming 100% efficiency out of each farm (which is not realistic since there are repairs required) and given our current solar incidence of about 60% per year. This is based on a mega farm in California that generates 500+MW and requires 5 sq. miles for 250,000 homes. While use of solar will grow, until all new buildings are fitted with solar and older ones retrofitted which is very expensive we still need to rely on carbon fuels and natural gas is the least polluting and easiest to transport via pipelines. Second in order to ensure you have power at night you have to store electricity either using batteries which are hard to dispose of in an environmentally safe way, or through heat capture and exchange using salt, oils or other exchange media. This in itself is doable but not easy and introduces additional complexity.

We need to be honest and realize that the technology isn't quite there and given our increasing demand for power whether to charge electric cars, our homes, our data centers it might be decades not years before renewables really cut the amount of hydrocarbon fuels required to keep us happy and in the style we are accustomed to. A more realistic timeline needs to accepted or else we might find ourselves in a situation where we will experience power disruptions.

The goal is a good one if for no other reason to be energy independent from other countries, but let's be realistic and not continually have a knee-jerk reaction to ban sources of fuel that we depend on.

amerigirl

Let, have you forgotten about rooftops? Repairs are required n any energy form or just about anything in general. One plus would be new jobs created from it, with the pipeline almost every job was in a highly specialized field and they had no plans to hire from the localities. The is a much smaller impact on the environment with renewables. The batteries are recharge, fuel tanks don’t last forever either and need to be disposed of. Why would retrofitting be expensive? The “power at night” thing is insane. Many people with solar actually sell excess power to power companies. We are in Virginia and solar is not the only option, Wind, Geothermal, Hydroelectric, and Tidal are all alternatives. There are places that are already on mostly renewable energy, like Burlington VT, Centralia and Chelan Cty, Douglas City WA, and other countries are ahead of the US, if they can do it then there is no reason the US should be left behind. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_transition

LetSanityPrevail

While roof top solar panels help they have to be augmented depending on the type of dwelling. For example high rise and condos and townhomes don’t have the necessary footprint to be self sufficient. Solar power will not generate the amount of energy required for data centers which have high consumption and a/c needs so solar farms will be required. The amount of land that would be required is significant. All the solutions you proposed are fine but not technically or economically viable yet. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pursue it, but transition takes time. Hydroelectric is not an option in Virginia is as we do not have adequate rivers, nor would environmentalists support implementation of dams along the few major scenic rivers we have. I don’t has issues as well such as the blades are not recyclable, the wind turbines have high maintenance and frankly pretty unsightly. Take a ride out on Rt.50 in West Virginia...not pretty. Personally I agree with Voltaire in that nuclear fission is the best bet for now and if controlled fusion ever became a reality that would be best. We could use a “space program”type effort and focus on fusion...non polluting and efficient. While a transition is in place the best is to use natural gas in lieu of coal, oil or other hydrocarbon products.

Skyprince

Sad that Trumpees turn everything into a "we v they" thing, a GOP v Left camp. It is why the GOP is losing, all they think is their twisted view of the world. This was a win for humanity, and the environment. It is not a Left v Right issue. It is sad to see how Trump has divided this nation when he should be leading! How stupid of him the other day to say that 99% of CV cases are mild...is he for real? Only less intelligent people still support him. Loudoun4Trump? You are a joke and a shameful person if after three and a half years you still think this Clown In Chief has America at his heart. All he cares about is Trump, and soon our real Independence Day will come, November 3. And all his unwashed masses can back into their holes when real people will speak out.

ace10

Your message was definitely one of unity. And acceptance of others.

Totally devoid of the dreaded "we versus they" that you mention

LOL. The irony is delicious. You always deliver!

LetsBreal

We've had 2.9 million CONFIRMED cases. Deaths are at 130 thousand. Case fatality is 4.5%.

The U.S. has 330 million people. How many people have cleared the virus with not so much as a call to the doctors office?

LetsBreal

Seropositive numbers are 3.6 to 9.4 percent with 6.2 percent being a best guess for the U.S. Numbers are from from serotracker.com

If 6.2 percent of 330 million people have had the virus and 130 thousand have died, what does that work out to? 20.5 million have had it and cleared it and 130 thousand have died in the U.S.

LetsBreal

330,000,000 U.S. population multiplied by 0.04% = 128,700

Is 0.04% less than 1% Skyprince??

amerigirl

PIPELINE?????

LetsBreal

PIPELINE?

Address it with Skyprince, not me.

amerigirl

[offtopic][offtopic] Is that because of the pipeline or did you have a problem focusing? Other than that your figures for the time you wrote this were wrong. 3 million cases, 132,000 deaths. What makes you think they didn't call their doctor's office? Pretty stupid assumption when the first months you couldn't even get a test without a doctors approval. When my husband was really sick I spoke with them at least 3 times in that 2 weeks and unless he was on deaths doorstep he wasn't getting into a hos ital or getting a test. So with that many people, how many have suffered, and even felt like they were going to die?

LetsBreal

My figures are not wrong. They come from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Serotracker and the Centers for Disease Control as of yesterday and were all cited and sourced.

What makes you think 3 million people called their doctor's office?

I don't give a lick about your husband and your anecdotal evidence. I cited the approximate number of deaths from COVID, and it's probably even less than 0.04% given the hospitalization rates of 103 admissions for probable COVID per 100K population as per the CDC. The assertion was made by Skyprince on percentages and Orange Man Bad, blah blah blah.

I've given you the numbers. If you don't like them, I really don't care.

amerigirl

Lets, Your figures were right at some point in time, your figures don’t update as quickly https://www.newsbreak.com/topics/coronavirus?s=a3&pd=044uOUY9 gives quick updates and you can check every county of every state, the amount of new cases and deaths for each everyday. on the left is how to confirm the figures if you want, usually with their dept of health for each state. You can pick global stats too. But you also seem to think that only people dying should matter, people can also get very sick and have long recovery times. There is a high clotting factor that can cause strokes. So sorry that you don’t care about other people, not just the people I know that have been sick or died from it, but you don’t seem to care about them at all. You call their deaths and suffering anecdotal. That just lessens what they went through. Yu would rather live in your fantasy land where nobody you know will be affected you may have a rude awakening, because nobody plans on getting it.

It looks like you didn’t actually read what Skyprince said. He repeated what Orangeman said. Trumps exact words were ‘99 Percent' of Virus Cases Are 'Totally Harmless'. That is a blatant lie. Maybe you forgot how it was in the early stages of the virus when there was no test because someone forgot to have them made. The instructions given were to call your doctor if you were sick. He would decide if you needed to be tested, that was the only way to get a test other than being very sick and admitted to a hospital.

Now can we get back to the pipeline???

LetsBreal

"‘99 Percent' of Virus Cases Are 'Totally Harmless'." - WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH THE PIPELINE GOING BY YOUR STANDARD OF STAYING ON TOPIC ?????????????????

What Trump said is totally accurate. I've given you the figures for the United States, both figures on death and extrapolating those infected.

Stop squirming. 0.04% is less that 1%.

You and Skyprince are both wrong as always.

amerigirl

Let, this is like dealing with a belligerent child. You know that kid that always claims to be right? It has nothing to do with the pipeline which is why I don’t know why you started with the facts and figures and why you though trump was right. NO 99% of cases are not HARMless. Recovered doesn’t mean they weren’t harmed. It is so far from accurate it is laughable. But I bet you will just keep arguing this til the day you die. Even you said the Case fatality is 4.5%. You are cunting the entire population of the us as if they have been tested.

LetsBreal

The case fatality is 4.5% for those that present in the hospital. In other words, they become CASES The hospitalization rate is 103 per 100,000 as per yesterday's CDC's numbers CUMULATIVELY. I'm extrapolating the numbers from serotracker on a percentage basis. Those are the best numbers we have for people who cleared it based on antibody tracking.

If you're going to debate, at least know what you're talking about. Your talking points are bunk.

loudoun fan

That's a fine way to calculate the death rate. But, by doing it that way, you cannot also say that millions have it and don't even know it.

LetsBreal

Source: numbers are from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

amerigirl

PIPELINE?????

amerigirl

That doesn't mean that 99% of the cases are harmless. It means they weren't hospitalized. You make it sound like 99% of the positive tested people are asymptomatic.

BladerFool

This was a market decision since investing in fossil fuels carries risk. We used to heat our homes with wood, replaced by coal (in time to save forests), replaced by electric and gas (in time to save the air) soon to be replaced by renewables (in time to save our climate). This is great news, Trump will take credit very soon.

Voltaire

BladerFool--yeah right. This was a decision by Warren Buffet to buy up Dominion Energy's natural gas assets in order for Berkshire Hathaway to control a large swath of the natural gas infrastructure market and get some return on his $10B that he invested here. Simple as that. If you think that Warren Buffett gives a toss about the environment, then you would be mistaken.

Loudoun4Trump

Too bad, a lot of jobs and positive economic outcomes are lost....

amerigirl

Not bad, they had no intention of hiring locally because according to the it was highly specialized work. but switching to renewable energy would create a whole new job market and they are willing to train.

LoudounPulse

Liberals think they won a victory. All they've done is push NatGas which would have used this pipeline to other distribution outlets (eg: LNG Ships / Railroads / Tanker Trucks). This project being canceled won't change the demand for NatGas as a fuel source over coal.

RandomName2019

What is with this weird focus on liberal motivations? Yeah, liberals are happy. So are conservationists, outdoor enthusiasts, deep-red property owners, critics of Dominion's dominance....

Voltaire

RandomName2019--based on Dominion Energy's stock price, the ONLY people that are happy are the ones you identified. BTW, do you REALLY think that Warren Buffett really gives a toss about the environment and other liberal motivations? No.

amerigirl

Buffett has said that he feels that climate change is responsible for the flooding in his state and he is the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, one of the biggest wind energy producers in the U.S.He tries not to mix politics and business though. His personal opinions are different.

"I think it is the kind of question that deserves lots of attention. ... We do have one planet, and we ought to pay a lot of attention to what’s going on."

Voltaire

AG--Warren Buffett, based on your quotation, from a CNBC article, is then a hypocrite. He may own MidAmerican Energy utility affiliate based in Iowa is one of the biggest wind energy producers in the U.S. and he owns NV Energy in Nevada is increasing its renewable generation from 24 percent to a percentage in the high 40s by 2023, mostly using geothermal and solar power. However, Warren Buffett also owns a LOT of assets that environmentalists would cringe because it involves the use of coal. For example, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Buffett’s large utility conglomerate, owns western utility PacifiCorp, which has a sizable fleet of coal power plants. Berkshire’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad ships a lot of coal and oil, too. Furthermore, Buffett is less than environmentally friendly when it comes to Berkshire Hathaway holdings and decisions. Berkshire shareholders have overwhelmingly rejected 13 climate-related proxy proposals brought up for a vote at recent Berkshire Hathaway annual meetings, with no single measure ever receiving more than 12 percent of support dating back to 2004, according to Morningstar/FundVotes data — there have been six proposals in the past three years. At the 2016 Berkshire annual meeting, the eminent climate scientist and former NASA official James Hansen was among the shareholders who made an appeal to Buffett. Buffett was not dogmatic or ideological, but rejected the plea not as a matter of climate denial but his sense of current business reality. Buffett summed up his rejection of climate proposals succinctly at the 2014 Berkshire annual meeting: “I don’t think in making an investment decision on Berkshire Hathaway, or most companies — virtually all of the companies I can think of — that climate change should be a factor in the decision-making process.” His sidekick, Charlie Munger is even less supportive of climate change. At the 2015 meeting, Munger said: “I don’t think it’s totally clear what the effects of global warming will be on extremes of weather. I think there’s a lot of guesswork in that field and a lot of people who like howling about calamities that are by no means sure, like a crazy ideology. Not that global warming isn’t happening, just you can get so excited and make crazy extrapolations that are not necessarily correct.”

amerigirl

Volt like I said he doesn't mix business with his personal feelings.

Voltaire

AG--Buffett is still a hypocrite then. He should put his money where his beliefs are.

LetsBreal

I guess big democrat donor Tom Steyer got religion AFTER he made all his money in hedge funds for coal.

Where is Al Gore today? I have more carbon credits and offsets I need to purchase to assuage my guilt. LOL

amerigirl

Lets, Al Gore is chairman of Generation Investment Management, and the founder and chairman of The Climate Reality Project, a nonprofit devoted to solving the climate crisis. He is also a senior partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and a member of Apple Inc.’s board of directors. Tom Steyer is still active with the dem party. yesterday he was fighting facebook over climate change.

LetsBreal

Why yes he is, AG! You finally got something right.

Headline: "Al Gore's Nashville estate expends 21 times more energy a year than typical U.S. home, study says" - Washington Times, August 2, 2017

amerigirl

Let’s, your Al Gore story was debunked on 28 FEBRUARY 2007. Ui are way behind on that one. Yes, it uses 12, not 21 times that of an average home, but his residence isn’t an “average” house: it’s about four times larger than the average new American home built in 2006, and it essentially functions as both a residence and a business office. He and his wife work out of the home. The Gores have been paying a $432 per month premium on their monthly electricity bills in order to obtain some of their electricity from “green” sources (i.e., solar or other renewable energy sources). Other factors (such as the climate in the area where the home is located and its size) made the Gore home’s energy usage comparable to that of other homes in the same area. In essence since it is for work and living, he is using less than people with comparable homes in the area. So why do you have to be so nasty and say tings like I finally got something right, especially when you had it wrong? There was no need for that.

Voltaire

LP--Very good point.

Loudoun Observer

Just like so many of their other "victories", penny wise and pound foolish. As you mentioned, now the same product will be transported using more environmentally harmful means when taken cumulatively. Remember when they cheered electric vehicles, but were silent about about how much fossil fuel energy was used and carbon was emitted just to make a tiny fraction of the EV battery? There's a forest there that they are unable to comprehend for the first few trees.

amerigirl

That’s why they need to change things, we need to keep up with the rest of the world. In the US almost 64% of our electricity is generated by burning fossil fuels, in other countries with electric car technology, including Sweden, most of the domestic power load comes from renewables.

Voltaire

AG--you sure you want to follow the Swedish model? There was an article done by Bloomberg that reported that Sweden's shift toward renewable energy is overwhelming the nation’s grid, and leaving a potential Olympic Games in 2026 relying on reserve generators. Not an efficient system to generate power.

amerigirl

Volt, they reached their 2030 goal for renewable energy in 2018. That article and one that promotes trump as a savior for them and their renewables are the only ones I have seen against what they have done. They also use other sources of power but they have been doing wonders with hydropower. But then again look at the US and having to have rolling brown and black outs.

amerigirl

Liberals? You only see the world in liberals and conservatives, widen your horizons, people are free to have their own opinions. Why have a pipeline when you can be connected to a grid? No it won't change the demand for NatGas as a fuel source over coal, but it could easily change to renewable energy.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.