No – These pipelines are not necessary to meet the future energy demands of our region. A study found that “the supply capacity of the Virginia-Carolinas region’s existing natural gas infrastructure is more than sufficient to meet expected future peak demand.”
Gas demand projections reported by the pipeline applicants have been proven to be inflated. For example – Dominion Energy, the primary stakeholder in the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), issued a demand projection that is considerably higher than the projection of the region’s grid operator, PJM Interconnection. Dominion’s projection is almost 2 gas-fired power plants higher than PJM Interconnection’s projection by the year 2027.
In fact, the majority of the gas that will run through the ACP and Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) will not go to the regions through which the pipelines run. There is a high likelihood that gas will be exported out of the country, as both pipelines will connect to the Transco line that runs to Dominion’s gas export facility in Cove Point, MD. An MVP partner has confirmed this for the MVP.
Additional proof that the gas will not be provided to Virginia communities lies in the fact that expansions for both pipelines are already being planned. MVP has announced an expansion into North Carolina called MVP Southgate. Dominion, who has claimed the ACP would not be expanded, was caught in a lie when an audio recording of a Dominion VP and general manager, Dan Weekley, revealed him saying that “everyone knows” that the ACP will be extended into South Carolina. In fact, Dominion’s ratepayers, which are most Virginians, will end up being charged billions of dollars in costs for the ACP while not receiving any benefit from the pipeline.
Long story short – the ACP and MVP are most certainly NOT necessary to meet energy demands in our region. The gas that would run through the ACP and MVP will mostly be exported, either out-of-state or out-of-country, while the pipeline owners make a guaranteed 14 percent rate of return. Communities along the pipeline routes will receive no benefit while having to bear the negative environmental impacts and economic impacts that are already occurring and would inevitably continue to occur as a result of these pipeline projects.