Great news for SC coastal communities and renewable energy

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) is dead.

Today Dominion Energy and Duke Energy announced that they are abandoning their nearly 6-year effort to build the $8 billion, 600-mile pipeline that would bring natural gas from West Virginia to the Eastern North Carolina/South Carolina border.

Thomas Farrell, Dominion Energy CEO, and Lynn Good, Duke Energy CEO, said that a “series of legal challenges to the project’s federal and state permits has caused significant project cost increases and timing delays.”

The CEO’s lamented that, “Until these (legal) issues are resolved, the ability to satisfy the country’s energy needs will be significantly challenged.”

Not so.

The increased reliance on natural gas has delayed what we really need to address the energy needs of this county—investment in renewable energy, battery storage and energy efficiency.

The most immediate impact of the ACP abandonment is a sigh of relief by South Carolina coastal communities.

Many of our coastal residents have been properly concerned that the ACP would be brought into South Carolina and terminating on our coast.  Mr. Farrell had previously testified at a SC Public Service Commission hearing that this was exactly Dominion’s intention.

Had Mr. Farrell been successful, our vibrant coastal tourism industry would have been harmed.  I laid out this concern in an opinion editorial in the Coastal Observer in March of this year:

There is grave concern along the SC coast that the ACP won’t stop at the state border but would be brought through our coastal counties in order to set up an exporting port for liquified natural gas (LNG) around Georgetown.  An industry would grow up around such a port bringing with it the inevitable spills and squeezing out of local tourism.

Clearly today was not a good day for Dominion and Duke.

But it was a great day for our energy future, the environment, tourism, renewable energy jobs, and our coastal communities.

Frank Knapp

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