In his January 2020 report, Why Support for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Adds Risks to Shareholders and Ratepayers, Tom Hadwin, a former utility company executive and a member of the Steering Committee of the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance, clearly explains why both stockholders and customers are losers in the Atlantic Coast Pipeline should be built.
His Executive Summary states:
- Continued efforts to complete the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) are fraught with risks.
- A huge surplus of generating capacity exists within the region. S&P Global Market Intelligence says we have a glut of gas-fired generation. The surplus capacity in the PJM region is growing and will last past 2050.
- About 80% of the capacity of the ACP was reserved for new power plants. Large gas-fired facilities, once thought necessary when the pipeline was proposed, have been cancelled or significantly postponed.
- Existing pipelines serving Virginia and the Carolinas have already increased in capacity by more than what the ACP would provide.
- Our region has access to all the gas we need without the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
- Rather than saving us money, the ACP will add tens of billions of dollars to our energy costs in just 20 years.
- Utility customers will be asked to pay in full for the capacity reservations on the ACP whether all of it is used or not.
- The full report expands on these points, and also provides a summary of the ACP’s revoked permits and legal obstacles.
Reminding us that numerous recent articles document over and over a long-term glut of natural gas-fired power plants, a long-term glut in natural gas supplies, and a decreasing demand for natural gas, Hadwin says, “There is no reason to burden families and businesses in Virginia and North Carolina with more than $30 billion in added energy costs for an unnecessary pipeline.”
He concludes, “To embrace the future, our energy companies must cut the chain that ties them to the outdated business model that keeps their thinking confined to the options that worked well in the 20th century. They can embark on that new path by cutting loose the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. New opportunities arise when tough decisions are made.”