Dominion Energy wants its captive ratepayers to subsidize the $6.5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline. There is no clear need for the project, but federal regulations allow Dominion to recoup its entire cost, plus an additional 14 percent, by raising our utility rates.

The ACP website’s first two sentences claim that “public utilities in Virginia and North Carolina need new, lower-cost supplies of natural gas to generate cleaner electricity, heat the homes of a growing population, and power new industries” and that “the pipelines serving our region are fully tapped and unable to keep up with consumer demand.”

Other sources say differently. Our regional natural gas pipeline infrastructure is expected to meet demand through the 2030 projection horizon.

The U.S. Department of Energy has found that “the pipeline network in the Southeast is already designed to handle large natural gas flows to distant parts of the country and needs little expansion to handle new flows.” 

Although it doesn’t specify in which region Virginia is included, another study by RAND Corporation predicts that from 2015 to 2030, the Southeast will increase its use of available regional pipeline capacity from 51 percent to 62 percent, mirroring a national jump from 50 percent to 62 percent usage of total capacity. The study concludes that “existing excess pipeline capacity helps explain why [the RAND] model predicts relatively modest increases in new installation of capacity for 2015 through 2030.” 

There is not a single power plant, either planned or in operation, that needs the ACP to operate. I challenge anyone to name even one. The purported need does not exist, but the costs surely do. Expert testimony to the Virginia State Corporation Commission uses Dominion’s own data to show that the project will increase utility bills for its customers by $1.61 billion to $2.36 billion.

The ACP is an expensive, unnecessary project, funded by utility ratepayers who will provide Dominion a 14 percent return on its costs at our expense.

Keep an eye on your wallets, Virginia; you’re being robbed.

Adam Neff

Nelson County 

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