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Pipeline letter sent to Commission

RICHMOND — The Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club has submitted a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) detailing the harm to consumers and competition stemming from the role of Dominion Resources LLC and Duke Energy as partners in the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP).

If approved, the ACP would span from West Virginia to North Carolina, transporting natural gas across Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward counties.

“The problem with this set-up is that it allows the utilities to use their captive ratepayers to ensure a continuous demand for natural gas, to be supplied by the ACP,” said Ivy Main, an attorney and energy writer who serves as the Virginia Chapter’s Renewable Energy chair and led Sierra Club’s inquiry into the anti-trust issues. “The result is good for Dominion and Duke but bad for their ratepayers, because it shifts onto customers the risks that are otherwise inherent in building and operating a gas pipeline. It also means Dominion Virginia Power and Duke Carolinas have an incentive to build more natural gas generating plants in order to create more demand for gas from the ACP.”

The Sierra Club is urging the FTC to open an investigation of the ACP and other pipelines to further look into this potential conflict of interest.