By Kelly Garvy
The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and Governor Cooper just capitulated to pressure and abdicated their responsibility to their state and to the people who elected Cooper. Governor Cooper and the NC DEQ relied on questionable data, provided by Dominion Energy, when they granted the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) one of its most coveted permits. It doesn’t take much to pull the curtain back on the economic projections conducted by the pipeline to realize its promises are a fantasy. And, yet, here we are. The analyses used to determine economic development rely solely on broad-sweeping assumptions that, once unpacked, do not hold water.
Southern Environmental Law Center debunked Dominion Energy’s claim that the pipeline will bring jobs to North Carolina. Dominion Energy’s claim that the pipeline will bring jobs relies on two major assumptions: that the pipeline will save money, and that these savings will go in their entirety to hiring new employees. The unsubstantiated claim of cost-savings, therefore, should be of the utmost importance to Cooper and DEQ when evaluating the benefits of the pipeline.
How will the new pipeline save businesses money? The cost-savings rely on predicting the future price of gas. Dominion Energy claims that they will be able to provide cheaper gas to North Carolinians than they would get without the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. There are two major problems with this claim.
First of all, there’s no proof that gas coming out of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would be any cheaper than gas coming out of the already existing pipelines that North Carolinians rely on every day. Secondly, this claim doesn’t mean that gas prices from the proposed ACP will be cheaper than they are today, just that these prices could be marginally cheaper than gas prices from current pipelines.