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The ACP: Unneeded, dangerous and costly

Four years of research on the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) reveals the following:

1) The pipeline is not needed. We are in the midst of a natural gas glut from effective fracking extraction; current pipelines are adequate for our region’s current and future peak demand. Having subsidiaries of the pipeline builders subscribe to the ACP is no indication of true domestic need. Those same subsidiaries are fully subscribed to the currently underutilized Transco pipeline.

2) The existing Transco pipeline could supply the current and proposed future gas burning regional generator stations, even though the ACP claims its pipeline is needed for the stations’ supply.

3) The ACP LLC is ensured a 14 percent rate of return (federal tariff) on the building of this pipeline, with the cost charged back to all the ratepayers, which means the delivered price of natural gas via the ACP will be greater than without the ACP.  This could result in ratepayers in Virginia and North Carolina paying billions more to use the ACP compared to existing pipelines.

4) The pipeline would be imposed on the land of hundreds of private property owners, restricting land use and decreasing property values; and threatening their property and their lives by the intrusion of a hazardous fuel pipeline that could leak, ignite, and explode. Without any true domestic public need for the pipeline, eminent domain should not apply to allow this to happen.

5) Should a leak, explosion or fire occur, the volunteer fire departments in the pipeline regions could only arrive and watch the pipeline burn and there are no plans for the evacuation of impacted residents from these fires.

6) The jobs promised by pipeline builders will be temporary at best, since most of the professional pipeline workers will come from out of the region. After installation, the pipeline will be monitored remotely from West Virginia, with only a few employees monitoring the compressor stations.

7) The promise of jobs and cheap gas from the ACP is an old, inaccurate message that disguises private profit for Dominion at a greater cost to the ratepayers, damage to our national forests, property, health, air, water, farms and businesses.

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