Category Archives: Economy

The Future of LNG Exports Increasingly Looks Shaky

From Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance’s ABRA Update #277, May 22, 2020:

A recently released analysis of the future financial prospects for liquified natural gas (LNG) strongly suggests that markets are imploding. The LNG issue becomes relevant for those concerned about efforts to build new, unneeded natural gas pipelines because of excessive natural gas supplies and reduced domestic demand. The report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) notes:

  • High prices in prior years had spurred a torrent of new LNG projects around the globe. But that optimism sowed the seeds of the fuel’s current troubles, as massive new supplies of LNG, much of it coming from the U.S., flooded global markets even as demand growth remained muted. The resulting oversupply fueled a global price slump: even before COVID-19 decimated global energy demand, LNG prices were already plummeting to a ten-year low.
  • The LNG industry entered today’s crisis on shaky footing. And now that the economic slowdown is in full swing, all previous LNG supply and demand projections have been rendered moot, and all crystal balls remain cloudy. In that context, delay is a smart decision.

For the complete IEEFA report, click here.

Sinking Ship


The latest Front Porch Blog from Appalachian Voices, It’s high time to abandon ship on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, discusses in detail the mounting evidence for why abandoning the ACP is the prudent course for all – shareholders, ratepayers, impacted communities, and the environment – and why shareholders should be particularly concerned.

The article discusses political barriers, economic reality, and the regulatory outlook, all of which are negative.

The conclusion? “Dominion and Duke have gotten themselves into rough waters. Try as they might, they have never been able to justify the tremendous environmental and social costs of the ACP — nor the project’s economic burden on customers — to regulators or the courts. At this point the companies cannot justify the project to their shareholders either. Hoping that the storm will pass and that the pipeline will move forward is reckless. The required permits may never be granted, the investment may never be recouped, and the demand may never return. Now is the time for these companies to abandon ship. Now is the time to cancel the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.”

Read the full blog post here.

Public to Dominion: Time to Abandon ACP


Press release from Chesapeake Climate Action Network and Clean Virginia, May 6, 2020:

Thousands of Virginians, Scores of National Groups Tell Dominion CEO and Shareholders to Abandon Atlantic Coast Pipeline

CHESAPEAKE CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK, CLEAN VIRGINIA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 6, 2020

CONTACT:
Denise Robbins, Communications Director, CCAN 
denise@chesapeakeclimate.org, 240-630-1889
Cassady Craighill, Communications Director, Clean Virginia 
cassady@cleanvirginia.org, 828-817-3328

Nearly 4000 residents sign petitions; 78 groups sign on to full-page ad calling on Dominion shareholders to abandon controversial pipeline

RICHMOND, VA — Today, as Dominion Energy meets virtually for its annual shareholder meeting, an unprecedented coalition of advocacy organizations and Virginia residents have sent a message to shareholders and board members, calling on the utility monopoly to abandon its plans to build the highly controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). 

A coalition of 78 prominent advocacy organizations from Virginia and across the country signed onto a letter that will be displayed in a full-page Richmond Times-Dispatch ad and a half-page Washington Post ad on May 6, the day of Dominion Energy’s annual shareholder meeting. The ad, addressed to shareholders, states: “New legislation and legal challenges have rendered the completion of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline unrealistic.” The letter points to the pipeline’s $8 billion price tag, eight missing permits necessary for construction, and the fact that Dominion recently informed state regulators that “significant build-out of natural gas generation facilities is not currently viable” under the state’s new law requiring Dominion to achieve 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045. 

A law signed last month by Governor Northam, HB 167, significantly raises the threshold for Dominion to pass any of the cost of the ACP onto ratepayers. In order to recover costs from Virginians as planned, Dominion must now prove a need for the energy the pipeline would supply in Virginia and that the pipeline was the lowest-cost way to produce that energy.

Additionally, two petitions garnering nearly 4,000 signatures were delivered to Dominion executives and shareholders today. With one petition, over 2200 Virginia residents called on Dominion CEO Tom Farrell to walk away from the pipeline “for the financial health of the company.” Another petition gathered over 1800 signatures to tell Dominion shareholders that the pipeline “no longer makes economic sense, even based on Dominion Energy’s own logic,” and that “continuing to pursue this project is fiscally irresponsible.” 

VIEW FULL AD HERE AND PETITIONS HERE AND HERE

Dominion Energy’s stubborn push to continue building the Atlantic Coast Pipeline despite ballooning costs, legal and permitting challenges, and a seismic shift in Virginia’s energy landscape betrays its duty to shareholders,” said Brennan Gilmore, Executive Director of Clean Virginia. “The responsible thing — for Virginians and shareholders alike — is for Dominion to shutter the project before another tree is felled.”

After the coronavirus, the last thing we need is another crisis at our doorstep,” said Harrison Wallace, Virginia Director at the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. “If built, the pipeline would be a disaster for both the economy and public health. And now that the economic case is stronger than ever, it’s time to end this dangerous project once and for all.”

Our normal way of life because of the pandemic is not even close to returning. Factor this together with the economic uncertainties and the harmful impacts to the health and welfare of many elderly, low income and majority African Americans in the proposed compressor station neighborhood of  Union Hill, and you have something that is absolutely unjustified,” said Chad Oba, President Friends of Buckingham.

Recent research shows that higher levels of air pollution increase the risk of death and hospitalization from COVID-19. Increasing toxic emissions takes us on the wrong path, placing Virginians at increased risk from the current pandemic as well as from other cardiovascular and respiratory diseases” Samantha Ahdoot, MD, Chair of Virginia Clinicians for Climate Action.

The letter to Dominion shareholders was signed by the following organizations: Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance, Alliance for Affordable Energy, Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, Appalachian Voices, Berks Gas Truth, Better Path Coalition, Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Bold Alliance, Bold Iowa, Bridging The Gap In Virginia, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Center for Sustainable Economy, Charlottesville Democratic Socialists of America, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Clean Virginia, Climate Action Alliance of the Valley, Climate Disobedience Center, Climate Hawks Vote, Coalition for Smarter Growth, Divest RVA Earth Action Inc, Earthworks, ENOUGH is ENOUGH Preserve VA, Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions, First Alliance Consulting LLC, Food & Water Action, Friends of Buckingham, Friends of Nelson, Friends of the Earth, Green New Deal VA, Greenpeace USA, Hip Hop Caucus, Indigenous Environmental Network, Interfaith Alliance for Climate Justice, La ColectiVa, Lancaster Against Pipelines, League of Women Voters of Virginia, Lebanon Pipeline Awareness, Marcellus Outreach Butler, Mothers Out Front VA, Movement Rights, Nuclear Information and Resource Service (anti-nuclear), Oil Change International, Our Revolution Alexandria, Piedmont Environmental Council, Preserve Giles County, Property Rights and Pipeline Center, Rappahannock League for Environmental Protection, Reclaim Augusta, Richard Freeman Allan, Richmond For All, Rockbridge Area Conservation Council (RACC), Rockfish Valley Investments, LLC, Scenic Virginia, Stand.earth, Sustainable Energy & Economy Network, Sustainable Roanoke, Together We Will Henrico, United Parents Against Lead & Other Environmental Hazards (UPAL), Virginia Clinicians for Climate Action, Virginia Community Rights Network, Virginia Conservation Network, Virginia Democracy Forward (VADF), Virginia Environmental Justice Collaborative, Virginia Interfaith Power & Light, Virginia Justice Democrats, Virginia League of Conservation Voters, Virginia Network for Democracy and Environmental Rights, Virginia Organizing, Wild Virginia, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International, Yogaville Environmental Solutions, Shenandoah Riverkeeper, Center For Sustainable Communities, 350 Alexandria, 350 Fairfax, 350 Loudoun, 350.org

Investors Should Abandon High Risk ACP

On May 5, 2020, just before the annual Dominion Energy and Duke Energy shareholders meetings, Friends of the Earth and NC Warn have released a report outlining multiple factors that make the years-delayed Atlantic Coast Pipeline a risky, unnecessary, and backward-looking investment that could leave Dominion and Duke shareholders on the hook for billions of dollars in stranded costs.

An analysis by former energy executive Thomas Hadwin shows that rapidly changing energy markets, new legislation in Virginia, a surplus of gas across the region, and climate impacts of fracked gas are among the reasons Dominion Energy and Duke Energy should stop trying to build the ACP, now billions over budget and with construction stalled since 2018 by legal and regulatory problems.

Hadwin’s analysis shows that the coronavirus pandemic has only amplified the pipeline’s many current problems.

Read the full report, It Is Time to Abandon the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Riskier Every Day

On April 20, 2020, Virginia Mercury featured a guest column by our colleague, Tom Hadwin. Hadwin, a member of the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance (ABRA) Board who lives in Waynesboro, is a former utility executive at Consumers Energy in Michigan and New York State Electric and Gas. His column, “The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is looking like a riskier investment every day,” is an excellent explanation of why the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project should not proceed.

Hadwin’s article clearly illustrates No Demand, No Need, the top reason in Friends of Nelson’s Ten Reason’s to Oppose the ACP.

For additional work by Hadwin see his 2017 video, In the Path of the Pipeline: Tom Hadwin, Demand vs Need, and his January 2020 report, Why Support for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Adds Risks to Shareholders and Ratepayers.