By Crystal Yu
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline has been canceled amid economic uncertainty following years of controversy. Since 2014, the 600-mile natural gas pipeline that would have crossed eastern North Carolina has sparked debate on its environmental and economic impact.
Legal challenges, including an overturned waterbody and wetland crossings federal permit, caused the project’s cost to increase to $8 billion from the original estimate of $4.5 to $5 billion, along with an estimated three-and-a-half-year delay, according to a Dominion Energy and Duke Energy press release on July 5.
“This announcement reflects the increasing legal uncertainty that overhangs large-scale energy and industrial infrastructure development in the United States,” said Dominion chief executive Thomas F. Farrell II and Duke Energy chief executive Lynn J. Good in the release. “Until these issues are resolved, the ability to satisfy the country’s energy needs will be significantly challenged.”
“A lot of people have lived six years of hell”
Jim Warren, the executive director of NC Warn, a nonprofit that works towards clean energy and climate justice, said the pipeline would have disproportionately affected minority populations in the eight North Carolina counties that the route would cross.
“A lot of people have lived six years of hell,” Warren said. “This was about environmental injustice and environmental racism, because it’s clear that the path chosen was intended to avoid affluent areas and push it through vulnerable communities.”