The builders of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline are halting the project as companies continue to face growing environmental opposition to new fossil fuel pipelines in the United States.
Duke Energy Corp.
and Dominion Energy Inc.
said Sunday that they were abandoning the $8 billion pipeline project – which would carry natural gas 600 miles across West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina and under the Appalachian Trail – citing continued regulatory delays and uncertainty, even after a favorable Supreme Court ruling last month.
Dominion said it is selling the rest of its natural gas transmission and storage network to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
for $9.7 billion, including debt. The deal includes a 25 percent stake in the liquefied natural gas export facility at Cove Point, Maryland, which will remain majority owned by Dominion.
“This announcement reflects the growing legal uncertainty that prevails over the development of large-scale energy and industrial infrastructure in the United States,” the companies said in a joint statement. “Until these issues are resolved, the ability to meet the nation’s energy needs will be in serious question.”
Utilities and pipeline companies have been trying to expand U.S. pipeline systems for more than a decade to take advantage of the abundance of oil and gas released by the fracturing boom. But many of these projects have met with strong opposition from landowners, Native American groups and environmental activists concerned about climate change who want to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
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