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‘Pipeline is not needed anymore’

agree with Scott Bazzarre’s key point in his article, “‘Past time’ for the pipeline,” published May 18, but for very different reasons.

It is clearly “past time for the pipeline,” but that is because we no longer need the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), and the proof is readily available for anyone who closely examines the issues.

Let’s look at Bazzarre’s points regarding this unnecessary pipeline one by one.

He contends pipeline opponents make their argument against the need for the pipeline by organizations sympathetic to our cause, and in most cases relying on oversimplifying a complex energy system.

Answer: The fact-based Synapse report, which utilizes solid research data, concludes, “The region’s anticipated natural gas supply on existing and upgraded infrastructure is sufficient to meet maximum natural gas demand from 2017 through 2030.”

Additionally, the Department of Energy’s 2015 Quadrennial Energy Study on the issue concludes, “The existing natural gas pipeline network possesses latent capacity, reducing the need to build new pipelines. This is the case even in high natural gas demand projections that indicate only moderate incremental new pipeline infrastructure would be needed.”

Bazzarre contends that if a less complicated and less expensive method could provide gas supply, a smart business owner would use it.

Answer: Bazzarre evidently does not realize that Dominion makes a guaranteed 15 percent net profit on just the building of the ACP, whether it’s ever needed or used at all.

He says “regions of Virginia desperately need access to this important source of fuel. …”

Answer: This is simply not true. All data from the natural gas marketplace show that the U.S. is in the midst of a fracking natural gas supply glut, and the price is historically low.

“…Locally, Kyanite has voiced how important the ACP is in allowing them to expand operations,” he says.

Answer: Kyanite would like lower fuel costs rather than having to pay for trucked-in fuel as they do currently, but they cannot pay for a $5 million tap to the ACP, nor will Dominion, Columbia (the distributor) nor Buckingham County.

He says “natural gas infrastructure …has existed safely … for decades.”

Answer: No, it has not. These pipelines transport an extremely hazardous fuel. According to PHMSA (Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration) there are hundreds of gas pipeline accidents annually involving toxic leaks, explosions and fires, resulting in human deaths, injuries and property destruction.

So, I agree with Bazzarre that it is past time for this pipeline to be built and that Virginia should implement a plan for an effective energy future. This pipeline is not needed any more, its harmful impact is not wanted, and it is time to invest in renewable energy and clean energy jobs for Virginia’s future.

Joseph Jeeva Abbate lives in Yogaville, and is the coordinator of Yogaville Environmental Solutions. His email address is jeeva@yogaville.org.