It was 5 years ago this week – Tuesday, September 2, 2014 – that Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and Dominion Energy CEO Tom Farrell appeared at a press conference in Richmond to announce the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project, a partnership of Dominion, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources. The project, announced as a $5 billion venture, was to be operational by the end of 2018. The ACP was a successor project to a Dominion venture announced in May of that year as the Southeast Reliability Project. The Mountain Valley Pipeline project was publicly announced on the same day, also with a projected completion date of late 2018.
It was also 5 years ago this week that the formation of the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance (ABRA) was made public, with 22 founding member organizations. The September 8 press release announcing the coalition’s creation stated:
The Alliance and its member organizations are gravely concerned about the proposed route of the pipeline, which could disrupt some of the most ecologically sensitive areas in the Eastern United States, including more than 50 miles of public lands in the George Washington and Monongahela national forests.
Alliance members are also acutely concerned that the proposed project presents substantial unjustified risks and costs for the rural communities of the Allegheny-Blue Ridge region. These communities will bear the full impact of pipeline development, including the loss of private property, damage to their scenic landscape, and the risk of pollution, with few, if any, of the long-term economic benefits touted by proponents.
As ABRA begins its sixth year fighting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the truths in the statement made in our maiden press release have been underscored by further research and events. The ACP continues to be a project that is unneeded and incompetently conceived. We continue the fight!