In a June 11, 2017, opinion piece in the Virginia Pilot, Michael J. Hirrel, a retired lawyer from the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, discusses Dominion’s claim of “public necessity” for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a claim which would allow them to use eminent domain to seize private property for construction. He points out that, “Neither the consortium nor Dominion has ever pledged to the FERC or to the SCC that a Dominion energy plant would definitely use gas from the ACP. So how can the pipeline be a public necessity?”
Projections show demand for gas-generated electric power in Virginia to be flat for the foreseeable future, and even unexpected growth could be handled with adjustments to existing gas transport pipelines. “So perhaps Dominion doesn’t actually need the pipeline for its plants. Perhaps it’s hoping to sell the gas from the pipeline to export markets or to other industrial users.” If that’s the case it would (of course) bring profit to Dominion, but it would not be a public necessity and would not justify seizure of land by eminent domain. Furthermore, “If the export and industrial sales don’t pan out, the costs for the pipeline — $6 billion and rising — could be added to customers’ electric bills.”
Hirrel concludes that “every Virginian can get together behind one idea: The Atlantic Coast Pipeline doesn’t serve their best interests.”
Read the full article here.
Read earlier posts on our Web page about Mr. Hirrel’s 2016 requests that the Federal Trade Commission to investigate antitrust violations by Dominion and its partners:
- Does Dominion’s Role in the ACP Violate Antitrust Law? (June 3, 2016)
- Further on Anti-Trust Questions about Dominion and ACP (November 24, 2016)