The High Risk Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) is Not Needed

by Diana Gooding on February 1, 2020

ALSO, NOW is the time to cut greenhouse gases not in 30 years

New Paper Underscores Lack of Need, High Risks of the ACP

From the Allegheny — Blue Ridge Alliance, Update #261, January 30, 2020

“Continued efforts to complete the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) are fraught with risks” to investors, ratepayers and those who live along the route of the ACP, according to a new paper released January 30 by ABRA. “Why Support for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Adds Risks to Shareholders and Ratepayers” is authored by Thomas Hadwin, a former utility executive who is a member of ABRA’s Steering Committee.

Hadwin points out that since 2014, when the ACP was proposed, existing pipelines serving Virginia and the Carolinas have increased in capacity more than the ACP would provide. The paper explains that the cost for Dominion subsidiaries to use gas from the ACP would be over four times as expensive as gas transported by the Transco system, where sufficient capacity exists. The same would be true for Duke Energy’s subsidiaries.

Describing the environmental risks associated with the project, the paper notes that over 150-miles of the ACP route – one-fourth its length – would traverse terrain that is landslide prone. ABRA will be releasing next month a study on the landslide threat to pipelines built through the central Appalachian region.

The paper concludes: “We have an overabundance of gas-fired generating capacity and gas transmission pipeline capacity. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is not a solution. It is part of the problem.


Ex-Heads of Park Service & Appalachian Trail Oppose ACP Crossing Trail

From the Allegheny — Blue Ridge Alliance (ABRA) Update #261, January 30, 2020

Among the amicus briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on January 22 in support of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision to vacate the U.S. Forest Service permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross the Appalachian Trail (see ABRA Update #250 article on this) was one jointly filed by: John Jarvis, former Director of the U.S. Park Service; Pam Underhill, former Superintendent of the Appalachian Trail; and the National Parks Conservation Association. The Jarvis/Underhill/NPCA brief sets forth three-principal arguments:

1. Federal agencies may not issue pipeline rights-of-way through federal lands in units of the National Park System, including the Appalachian Trail, without express authorization from Congress;

2. There exist other well-established means of obtaining authorization for pipeline rights- of-way in or through National Park System lands; and

3. Congress’s delegation to the Park Service of administrative jurisdiction over the Appalachian Trail also ensures the Trail’s long-term conservation in the manner Congress intended.

In concluding its brief, the joint petitioners stated:

While the Forest Service and its staff members are critically important partners in cooperatively managing the Appalachian Trail on Forest Service lands, Congress recognized that the Park Service was best situated to play a special role in administering the entire stretch of this unique national treasure and assuring that its purposes are fulfilled in perpetuity. As such, it is imperative that this Court affirm the Fourth Circuit’s ruling, which will ensure that this foundational national scenic trail continues to be overseen and conserved as a crown jewel of the National Park System, in the manner that Congress envisioned when it deliberately charged the Park Service with administering the Appalachian Trail.

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