Members of the West Virginia Legislature and the Virginia General Assembly have been told of major problems with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) in letters written to them by ABRA on March 30. The letters were sent in the context of an effort by Dominion Energy to have state legislators send endorsements of the ACP to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The separate letters to the West Virginia and Virginia state legislators argued that:
- The ACP is not needed. Numerous studies have warned of overbuilding of natural gas pipelines in the East letter. New forecasts reduce the expectations for future generating requirements for areas to be served by the ACP, thus diminishing the amount of natural gas claimed by the project’s sponsors to be needed. Furthermore, two-thirds of the new generating capacity being built in the country is based on solar and wind energy, while the percentage of new capacity generated by natural gas has reduced significantly.
- The claims 0f new jobs that would be created by the ACP are grossly exaggerated. The sponsors of the ACP claim that the project “holds the promise of thousands of new jobs.” This is not true! Most construction jobs created by the ACP will be temporary and held by out of state contract employees. The small number of permanent jobs created by the ACP in each state is offset by the economic harm that would be dealt to existing businesses. (Specific examples in each state are cited).
- Serious and permanent harm to Virginia’s natural resources would result from the ACP. Dominion’s claim that the ACP would pose no threat to the integrity of natural resources is a myth. Informational filings on the project make it increasingly clear that the quality of water resources will be seriously compromised by the ACP. Furthermore, a just-completed study by our coalition has concluded that a cumulative total of 38 miles of mountaintops and adjacent ridgetops (19 miles in each state) would be removed by ACP construction.
- The ACP would not serve the public good. Should the ACP receive approval from FERC, it would be granted the right of eminent domain to take private property for private gain. When a project is 1) not needed, 2) would result in negative economic impacts to affected businesses, communities and landowners, and 3) would bring serious and permanent damage to each state’s natural resources, it is not in the best interest of the citizens of either state.