The natural gas project which would have crossed the Appalachian Trail has been canceled as delays and costs mount. This blog has reported on the pipeline frequently. See “The Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Bulldozers at Your Doorstep,” June 16, 2020. At that time, it was noted that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline can traverse sixteen miles within the George Washington National Forest. The case, U.S. Forest Service v Cowpasture River Prevention Assoc., 590 US ___ (2020) considered the grant of a special permit from the Forest Service for a right of way some 600 feet below a portion of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. Despite that win, Duke Energy and Dominion Energy said that the multitude of lawsuits from environmentalists aimed at blocking the project had increased the costs of the project from $4.5 billion to $8 billion. It seems environmental lawyers charge a lot.
Dominion also said it was selling all of its gas transmission and storage assets to an affiliate of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway in a $9.7 billion deal.
In another pipeline case, the Dakota Access Pipeline, a federal judge sided with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and ordered the pipeline to shut down until more environmental review is done. The pipeline was the subject of months of protest, sometimes violent during the construction near the Sioux reservation that straddles the North Dakota and South Dakota border. The $3.8 billion 1,172-mile underground pipeline crosses beneath the Missouri River. The tribe draws its water from the river and fears pollution.
Fun fact, North Dakota is the Nation’s No. 2 oil producer behind Texas.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2018 completed more than a year of additional study of the pipeline, saying the work substantiated its earlier determination that the pipeline poses no significant environmental treats.