The ACP: too costly, dangerous and unnecessary

Published 8:10 pm Friday, November 2, 2018

Dominion Energy, the main Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) partner, continues to claim unrealistic benefits for the public from the ACP. Dominion claims the pipeline fulfills a critical regional need for another pipeline, that the gas will be less expensive than current supply, that it is safe, that it provides plentiful jobs for local workers. These claims are exaggerated or no longer true. Four years of research on the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) reveals some critical facts.

The pipeline is not needed. We are in the midst of a natural gas glut from effective fracking extraction, and 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. The region that the ACP claims to be supplying is currently well supplied by the underutilized Transco pipeline.

Dominion Energy contradicts themselves on supply need. Dominion previously stated that the existing Transco pipeline could supply the current and proposed future gas burning regional generator stations, and now Dominion claims that the ACP is needed for the stations’ supply.

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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.

The pipeline is being forced on the land of hundreds of property owners, decreasing land use and 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.

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.

Most of the professional pipeline workers will come from out of the region. The majority of contractors at many of the ACP sites have been from out of state. After installation, the pipeline will be monitored remotely from West Virginia, with only a few employees monitoring the compressor stations.

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.

The proposed ACP compressor station in Buckingham County does not yet have an approved Virginia air permit. Those concerned with the toxic emissions and noise from this giant compressor station can assist their neighbors in challenging the station’s air permit by joining a community meeting on Nov. 1 from 6-8 p.m. at Union Hill Baptist Church, 1496 Union Hill Road (State Route 663) in Buckingham. There will be potluck and information on how to protect our children’s future.

Consider attending the Virginia Air Board and DEQ public hearing on the air permit on Nov. 8 and 9 in Richmond. Information on these hearings here:

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