The Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline has been scrapped.
That announcement came from Dominion Energy and Duke Energy on Sunday in a joint announcement, Kallanish Energy reports.
Recent developments “have created an unacceptable layer of uncertainty and anticipated delays for ACP,” the two companies said.
The delays have resulted in increased costs that threaten the economic viability of the project that had been expected to begin service in 2022, they said.
The cost of the project has grown from $5 billion to $8 billion, they said.
The companies cited a recent decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the Keystone XL case in connection with a needed water permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in a decision with nationwide ramifications.
That news plus litigation risk “makes the project too uncertain to justify investing more shareholder capital,” Dominion and Duke said.
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court by a 7-2 vote had backed the pipeline that was intended to move Marcellus and Utica shale natural gas to markets in Virginia and North Carolina.
The court ruled that the pipeline could cross the popular Appalachian Trail in western Virginia.
But the 605-mile pipeline in West Virginia and Virginia still has other major permit problems that must be resolved before construction could begin.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had vacated a required pipeline permit under the federal Endangered Species Act.
The three-judge panel ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s review of natural gas pipeline plans was “arbitrary and capricious.”
It ordered that the agency’s biological opinion and an incidental take statement looking at four endangered species along 100 miles of the pipeline route in Virginia and West Virginia be thrown out.
The pipeline company was seeking federal approval to kill limited number of endangered species, if necessary and where no other options exist, in building the pipeline. That is called incidental take.
The appeals court has also vacated pipeline permits for crossing U.S. Forest Service land and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ approval of stream-crossing permits.
The pipeline had originally been slated to begin service in late 2019.
Construction started in spring 2018. The pipeline would move 1.5 billion cubic feet per day, enough to heat about 7.5 million homes.
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