INSTITUTE INDEX: Pipeline resistance pushes Dominion, Duke Energy to a greener future

Protests against fracked gas pipelines, like this "No Place Like Home" rally that took place in Virginia in 2017, along with persistent legal challenges are driving up the financial and reputational costs of completion. In response, Dominion and Duke Energy recently decided to cancel the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline and focus more on meeting state renewable energy mandates. (Photo by cool revolution via Flickr.)

Date on which Dominion Energy and Duke Energy announced they were canceling the long-delayed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), proposed in 2014 to transport fracked gas from West Virginia through Virginia to North Carolina and possibly beyond: 7/5/2020

Most recent cost estimate for the ACP, which represented a more than 60% increase over the initial estimate, and which the companies cited as the reason for the cancellation: $8 billion

Number of conservation organizations that were involved in challenging the ACP on legal grounds, leading to numerous delays and higher costs: more than a dozen

In a separate case brought by an environmental group against the Keystone XL pipeline, date on which a federal court in Montana threw out the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' nationwide federal water quality permit, which the ACP had relied on for numerous stream crossings along its path: 4/15/2020

Date on which the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily reinstated the permit for all pipeline projects except Keystone XL, though Dominion said that would not decrease uncertainty enough to continue pouring money into the ACP: 7/6/2020

Amount Dominion and Duke have already invested in the ACP, which faced numerous regulatory and legal challenges and opposition from environmentalists and affected local communities, which in North Carolina are disproportionately Native American: $3.4 billion

Amount both of the companies had already spent on pipe alone: $400 million

Percent of the ACP that was in the ground when the project was canceled: about 6

The same day the ACP cancellation was announced, amount for which Dominion said it would sell its other gas pipelines and storage facilities to Berkshire Hathaway, the Nebraska-based conglomerate headed by investor Warren Buffett: $10 billion

Month in which the Democrat-controlled Virginia legislature, under pressure from environmentalists, passed landmark legislation requiring electric utilities including Dominion to shift to renewable energy sources: 3/2020

Under the law, year by which Dominion, the ACP's majority partner, must completely phase out carbon-based energy sources: 2045

Though the North Carolina legislature is controlled by a Republican Party whose platform does not acknowledge climate change, year by which North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper — a Democrat up for re-election this year against Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, a GOP climate science denier — has ordered a 40% reduction in his state's greenhouse gas emissions: 2025

Month in which Dominion Energy debuted the first offshore wind farm in federal waters: 6/2020

Number of homes that facility will eventually power: 3,000

Value of Duke Energy's ongoing five-year capital investment plan in renewable energy, which the company recently said "will advance [its] clean energy agenda without [the] Atlantic Coast Pipeline": $56 billion

Within 24 hours of the ACP cancellation announcement, number of other major fossil fuel pipeline projects that were delayed or shut down by U.S. courts, which has given fresh hope to opponents of the nearly completed Mountain Valley Pipeline being built to transport fracked gas from West Virginia to southern Virginia: 2

(Click on figure to go to source.)