Lew Freeman, Executive Director, Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance (ABRA), marked the fifth anniversary of our fight against the unnecessary and destructive Atlantic Coast Pipeline with this post in ABRA Update 231 for May 30, 2019. Friends of Nelson, a member of ABRA, thanks Lew and all the many individuals, groups, and organizations who have given and continue to give their time and energy and resources in the now five year fight! Onward!
“Holy cow” is how the chairman of the Highland County Board of Supervisors reacted to the news that Dominion Energy planned to build a natural gas pipeline through his county, according to a May 29, 2014 news story in The Recorder newspaper. A Dominion spokesperson quoted in the story said that the Southeast Reliability Project, as the company initially called what has become the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), was to cost $4 billion and be in operation by the end of 2018.
Dominion’s initial talking points in 2014 about the project said:
- The project would be the “energy equivalent of broadband infrastructure,” providing a “key driver in a community’s ability to attract economic development;”
- It would promote price stability and enhance economic opportunity;
- “Substantial economic benefits including a substantial number of well-paying construction jobs and additional tax base in communities along the route” would be provided;
- Dominion looks forward to working with affected landowners and communities “to ensure that we can optimize the balance of environmental stewardship and economic opportunity that is created” by the project.
Five years later, we have learned that the company’s words do not measure up to its stated talking points. At all! “Fake News” would seem to be a more apt characterization.
The ACP is now stalled due to it losing many of its key permits. By Dominion’s own admission, the project is over 2 years behind schedule and its anticipated project costs are nearly double the original estimate.
The extraordinary effort by ABRA’s more than 50 member organizations, dozens of cooperating organizations and thousands of committed volunteers are a significant reason for where we find ourselves today. But the fight is not over against the ACP. Our persistence and perseverance must continue! Thanks to all of our coalition participants for your past and future efforts.