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Atlantic Coast Pipeline Canceled as Delays and Costs Mount

  • July 05, 2020

Environmental groups have long criticized Dominion and Duke for their continued development of fossil fuel projects. The two companies have argued that they have increasingly added renewable energy sources to produce electricity that include wind, solar and hydro power, but they also contend that they need natural gas for the times when those clean energy resources are not available.

“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,” executives for Dominion and Duke said in a prepared statement. “This announcement reflects the increasing legal uncertainty that overhangs large-scale energy and industrial infrastructure development in the United States.”

Gillian Giannetti, a lawyer with the Sustainable FERC Project at the Natural Resources Defense Council, quickly issued a statement in support of the utilities’ move. “The costly and unneeded Atlantic Coast Pipeline would have threatened waterways and communities across its 600-mile path,” she said. “As they abandon this dirty pipe dream, Dominion and Duke should now pivot to investing more in energy efficiency, wind and solar — that’s how to provide jobs and a better future for all.”

Dominion’s agreement with Berkshire Hathaway Energy includes the sale of more than 7,700 miles of natural gas storage and transmission pipelines and about 900 billion cubic feet of gas storage. As part of the deal, Berkshire Hathaway will assume about $5.7 billion in debt and make a $4 billion cash payment to Dominion at the closing.

Dominion, which is based in Richmond, Va., provides electricity and natural gas to more than seven million customers across 20 states. Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s operations include a portfolio of more than $100 billion in assets and provide service to 12 million electric and natural gas users.

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