Dominion’s ACP Pipeline to Co$t Virginia Ratepayer$ Over Two Billion

by Duane Nichols on March 13, 2018

The true cost of the ACP .....

Virginia Board Confirms: Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline Could Cost Virginians up to $2.3 billion

Press Release from Jake Thompson and Elizabeth Heyd, Natural Resources Defense Council, March 12, 2018

WASHINGTON (March 12, 2018) –Virginia’s top economic watchdog today validated expert analysis showing that Dominion Energy’s proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline could cost Virginia ratepayers up to $2.3 billion, decisively refuting Dominion’s faulty claims that the pipeline would save customers on their electric bills.

The Virginia State Corporation Commission issued its final order approving Dominion’s 2017 Integrated Resource Plan, its long-term plan that included the utility’s plan to build the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a proposed pipeline that would run 600 miles between West Virginia to the North Carolina/South Carolina border.

In its order, the commission accepted—over Dominion’s objection—analysis from Gregory M. Lander, a veteran natural gas industry analyst. Lander’s analysis relied on Dominion’s data to find that building the pipeline would increase costs for Dominion ratepayers between $1.61 billion and $2.36 billion.

Dominion had contended, based on a more than three-year-old study, that building the pipeline would cut customers’ energy bills by several hundred million dollars annually and create many jobs.

“It’s now clear as a bell that the Atlantic Coast pipeline is not a good deal for Virginians. This is a speculative pipeline in search of a market, and that market is not Virginia,” said Walton Shepherd, Virginia policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Not only is this pipeline unneeded, it would burden Virginia ratepayers and therefore the state’s economy. Virginia ratepayers shouldn’t have to pony up as much $2.3 billion to underwrite Dominion’s pipeline venture.

Walton Shepherd also said: “That’s not right. That’s not fair. And we call on Gov. Northam to step in and protect Virginia’s consumers and economy by conducting a full economic review of the merits of this project, through his Secretary of Commerce and Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy.”

Rather than contest Lander’s cost analysis, Dominion had filed a motion at the doorstep of the August hearing asking that Lander’s testimony be stricken from the record as irrelevant. But the corporation commission today rejected that request, leaving Lander’s cost analysis uncontested by Dominion and part of the record in its final order.

Furthermore, the corporation commission ordered Dominion to address the impact of a bill the Virginia General Assembly just approved calling for Dominion to ramp up investment in clean energy and energy efficiency in its next Integrated Resource Plan due in May.

NRDC and other groups, as well as a number of landowners, have raised other concerns about the controversial pipeline, showing that it would stifle investment in Virginia’s clean energy economy, threaten water quality, and impose an especially steep financial burden on low-income Virginians who already struggle to meet their energy costs.

Lander’s analysis is here:!.PDF

A blog by Shepherd on the cost increases shown in the analysis is here:

A blog by Amy Mall, senior policy analyst in NRDC’s Nature program on the pipeline’s cost and burden on low-income families is here:


Another blog by Amy Mall on 10 reasons to stop the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline is here:


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Lew Freeman March 19, 2018 at 11:55 am

Subject: Opposition filed with FERC to ACP request to extend tree clearing deadline

Late last week Dominion Energy Transportation requested permission from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to extend the deadline for tree felling to May 15. In accordance with previously detailed restrictions due to migratory bird considerations, tree felling was to end March 15 in Virginia and April 1 in West Virginia and North Carolina. In its March 15 filing with FERC (published in the FERC docket late on March 16), Dominion said:

‘Despite their best efforts, it now appears that Atlantic (Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC) and DETI (Dominion Energy Transmission, Inc.) will be unable to complete the scheduled tree felling in each of those states before the existing time-of-year restrictions go into effect. Therefore, Atlantic and DETI seek approval to continue tree felling until May 15, 2018, except in U.S. Forest Service lands and in areas where Indiana bats are present or where tree felling would be within five miles of known Indiana bat hibernacula, within a quarter mile of known Northern long-eared bat hibernacula, or within 150 feet of occupied Northern long-eared bat maternity roosts. The approval sought adheres to the requirements and limitations detailed within the BO for ESA related time of year restrictions, and as such, Atlantic and DETI are not requesting consultation with the Service.” (Complete filing at

Friday afternoon, March 17, the Southern Environmental Law Center and Appalachian Mountain Advocates, on behalf of their clients with pending rehearing requests before FERC (most of whom are ABRA members), filed a letter of opposition to the Dominion request, stating:

“Atlantic requests approval to continue tree-felling until May 15, 2018—two additional months. In all three states, such an extension would result in the felling of trees well into the periods when tree felling has been restricted in order to protect migratory birds and threatened or endangered bats.3 This request must be denied in order to maintain the protections for migratory birds, Indiana Bats, and Northern Long-Eared Bats upon which the Commission’s NEPA effects analysis relies.

“What is more, before granting the request, the Commission would need to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement to assess the effects of a modification to the time-of-year restrictions, and issue that Supplemental EIS in draft form for public notice and comment.”

Lewis Freeman, ​Executive Director
Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance


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