Economic Impact

February 2016, updated May 2016

May 16, 2016: The Atlantic Coast Pipeline would cost Nelson County up to $24.5 million dollars per year, with additional one-time costs of up to $41 million according to an independent economic report issued Tuesday by Key-Log Economics. Individuals and businesses would lose up to $25 million in property value outright, while annual losses would include $18 million in recreation tourism dollars and $1.2 million in personal income. The county government would lose $526,000 in tax revenue and $144,000 in property tax revenue per year should the pipeline be built in Nelson County. The total annual costs to Nelson County far exceed the local annual tax payment promised by ACP LLC. These costs would be borne by the entire community, assuming taxes were raised to cover lost county revenue.

The reports are available here:
ACP Costs to Nelson County – Summary
Economic Costs of the ACP – Technical Report (May 16 update)

Nelson County Economic Impacts from Atlantic Coast Pipeline:
• Total one time loss to county: $19-$41.2m
• Additional Annual costs to county: $21.1-$24.5m /year
• Total loss in property values $14.7-$25.3m
• Annual loss in property tax revenue $83,666-$144,363 /year
• Annual loss in recreation tourism expenditures $18.5m /year
• Annual loss in local Tax revenue $526,000 /year
• Annual loss in personal income $1.2 m /year

Many Friends of Nelson members were among the volunteers who helped in the review, and the review was paid for by Friends of Nelson, Augusta County Alliance, Conservation Partners LLP, Southern Environmental Law Center, Yogaville Environmental Solutions, Friends of Buckingham, and the Virginia Chesapeake Climate Action Network.


Friends of Nelson Fact Sheet (September 2015): Atlantic Coast Pipeline – Bad Deal!

Friends of Nelson Fact Sheet (December 18, 2014): Impacts to Nelson County’s Economy Make the Route Inappropriate


Economics of the ACP considered: a letter (version of 4/29/2015) to Dominion shareholders from Doug Hornig, Sr. Editor for Technology and Natural Resources at Casey Research LLC. Discusses why the ACP is a highly questionable decision from the standpoint of return on investment as well as potential dilution of shareholder value. Some have considered reinvesting in other sectors, with a few looking at the Inovio shares on the market to put their money towards.

A February 2015 Department of Energy (DOE) study entitled Natural Gas Infrastructure Implications of Increased Demand from the Electric Power Sector, available here, suggests that new interstate transmission pipelines are neither necessary nor cost-effective.


11-12-14 Study examines economic impact of proposed pipeline in Southwest Virginia. Study cited was commissioned and paid for by Dominion.

11-1-14 The State Journal [WV]: Gas ‘boom’ yields rocky employment data. “1,800 [construction] jobs will only be around during the two-year construction phase of the project. ‘Construction jobs are always temporary,’ said Sean McGarvey, president of North America’s Building Trades Union and chairman of the Oil and Natural Gas Industry Labor-Management Committee. ‘The project starts then it finishes, jobs start and end with a project.’

10-2-14 Bacon’s Rebellion: McAuliffe Dodges Mandatory Renewable Energy. “The biggest problem with the McAuliffe plan is that it dodges the issue of making Virginia’s Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) mandatory.”

10-1-14 Richmond Times Dispatch: State energy plan emphasizes renewable sources, efficiency. “The state must put in place policies that include traditional energy sources, renewable sources and energy efficiency, the plan said…. The Virginia Energy Plan drew mixed reaction from organizations interested in the increasingly contentious energy debate.”

10-1-14 McAuliffe’s energy plan to make debut. “Gov. Terry McAuliffe has made energy a key component of his administration, promoting natural gas through the state and encouraging efficiency in response to climate change. Wednesday, the Democrat is expected to outline his energy vision for the state in great detail when he releases his energy plan for the state.”

9-24-14 Blue Virginia: Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s “Sacrifice Zones” “For years, low-income and minority areas have been targeted to benefit corporations.” Dominion’s route through Nelson is no exception.

In his September 2 press conference, Gov. McAuliffe endorsed the economic development potential of the newly renamed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. His figures were based on The Economic Impact of The Atlantic Coast Pipeline in West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina, a September 2014 report that was commissioned by Dominion and produced by Chmura Economics and Analytics.

9-20-2014 Charlottesville Daily Progress: Pipeline should have massive economic impact. Article does not acknowledge that the economic impact study was commissioned by Dominion.

America Pays for Gas Leaks: Natural Gas Pipeline Leaks Cost Consumers Billions. A report prepared for Massachusetts Sen. Edward J. Markey, released August 1, 2013, draws on data from a variety of sources to assess safety as well as the environmental and economic impact of leaks and other “lost and unaccounted for” natural gas, using Massachusetts as a case study

9-3-14 Forbes: The Popping of the Shale Gas Bubble. Forbes analyst says, “America’s shale gas resources and reserves have been grossly exaggerated and today’s level of shale gas production is unsustainable. In fact, due the distortions of zero interest rates and other factors, an enormous shale gas bubble has developed.”

Opinions regarding property insurance and property values are found in this article from the Nashoba Publishing Community News, 8-8-2014, about the impact of Kinder Morgan’s proposed natural gas pipeline in Massachusetts.

8-5-14 A new report from the non-profit group Ceres shows Dominion Resources, the parent of Dominion Virginia Power, winning last place among investor-owned utilities on a nationwide ranking of renewable energy sales and energy efficiency savings. The link is to the blog post by Ivy Main (State Sierra Club Chair) about the report. For the full report, go here.

5-8-2014 AppalachianVoices: Look out Cleveland: Shareholders, activists converge on Dominion annual shareholder meeting. Activists in Ohio and shareholders from throughout Dominion Virginia Power’s service area including Virginia converged on Cleveland on Wednesday May 7, to greet the company’s CEO, Thomas Farrell, board and shareholders as they gathered for Dominion Resources’ annual meeting. At the meeting inside, “Dominion faced unprecedented levels of shareholder concern over the financial and environmental risks of expanding its dirty energy portfolio.”