Say No To Pipeline And ‘Improper’ Eminent Domain

Published 1:44 pm Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Are the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia and our local, state and federal legislators getting all the facts regarding Dominion’s claims for their proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP)?

Here are some basic facts:

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• Dominion has stated that the ACP is only a wholesale pipeline and not for the needs of the residents and property owners currently located in the path of the pipeline that currently do not have natural gas.

• Natural-gas-industry experts unanimously state that all current needs of the U.S. domestic market are met, and there is such a product surplus in the U.S. that the industry does not even have adequate capacity to store the surplus.

• Dominion may find additional profit by addressing existing customer demand with cheaper shale-harvested gas — and seize existing market share now addressed by existing pipeline suppliers. That is not addressing any new growing public demand.

• All market data shows that consumer demand is flat and well-supplied by existing pipelines and infrastructure. In fact, the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s energy outlook as of May 12 stated, “Consumption of natural gas in the U.S. residential and commercial sectors is projected to decline in 2015 and 2016.” So that undermines the claim of “public need” to justify taking private property by forced “eminent domain” for the ACP.

• Dominion and other gas/oil producers and distributors may also seek greater private profit by seeking to lift current federal restrictions on exporting gas outside the U.S. at much higher profits than in the domestic market. Selling to the foreign markets at an increased profit would naturally raise the domestic price and harm the U.S. consumer. This certainly does not serve the “public good.”

• Shale natural gas and oil harvesting, while slowing with the international increased production and lower prices, continues to glut the U.S. market beyond demand. The shale production will continue to add to U.S. production, meeting domestic demand without the ACP.

Informed American citizens and an honest Federal Energy Regulatory Commission would say no to Dominion’s attempt at private profit at the public’s expense with the proposed ACP.  Virginia residents and property owners: stand against this improper and illegal application of eminent domain to trespass onto private property.

Before moving to Buckingham, Joseph Jeeva Abbate was a pioneer Yoga instructor in the California Prison System and at the University of California-Santa Cruz. He developed a small computer/telecom business in Herndon with his wife, Priya, which served over 30 Indian tribes and the federal government for 16 years. He is now retired and serving as day manager at Yogaville in Buckingham.  His email address is