Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.
Plans for a controversial interstate natural gas pipeline through Nash and Wilson counties have been canceled by the energy giants that pushed the project for six years.
Duke Energy and Dominion Energy announced the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s cancellation on Sunday. Representatives cited rising costs and endless delays.
Nash County farmer Marvin Winstead joined the fight against the ACP when he discovered the pipeline would traverse his property.
Winstead, who has a lawsuit pending against the pipeline, said Sunday he’s pleased with the announcement.
“A David and Goliath reference is appropriate,” Winstead said. “We used that comparison early on in the meetings about the project.”
The capitulation to local property owners, grassroots groups and environmental advocates comes as somewhat of a surprise given a recent victory by Duke and Dominion.
Pipeline builders won a battle in the ongoing legal war over the pipeline when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in June that the ACP could be built across the Appalachian Trail.
However, the ruling appears to have come too late to save the project as several other lawsuits and permitting fights lay ahead.
Then there’s the project’s cost, which ballooned from $4.5 billion to $8 billion, according to a joint press release from Thomas F. Farrell II of Dominion Energy and Lynn J. Good of Duke Energy — presidents and CEOs of their respective companies.
“We regret that we will be unable to complete the Atlantic Coast Pipeline,” Farrell and Good said in the joint statement. “For almost six years, we have worked diligently and invested billions of dollars to complete the project and deliver the much-needed infrastructure to our customers and communities.”
Proponents of the pipeline said it would attract industry to the area and be a boon to local economies.
Initially announced in 2014, the now dead pipeline would have carried natural gas 600 miles from West Virginia to North Carolina.