Groups challenge assertion that Atlantic Coast Pipeline is needed

pipelineThe Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance (ABRA) responded to the March 11, 2016 letter of support for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline sent by members of the Hampton Roads Caucus to U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.  In that letter, the Caucus members said that: “The need for this project is urgent; to put it bluntly, our region’s natural gas transportation system has reached a tipping point.”

In a March 29 letter to Senators Warner and Kaine, Thomas Hadwin of Friends of Shenandoah, a former utility executive writing on behalf of ABRA, points out that “natural gas can be supplied to the Hampton Roads region more quickly, at lower costs, and without disrupting public and private land in Virginia, by using existing pipelines.”

Continuing, Mr. Hadwin says:

The Columbia Gas pipeline network, which crisscrosses Virginia, connects to the Virginia Natural Gas pipeline that currently serves the Hampton Roads area.  The WB XPress project will expand the capacity of the Columbia Gas system in West Virginia and Virginia by 1.3 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas, nearly equal to the amount proposed by the ACP.

The 77-mile, 20-inch pipeline constructed on new right-of-way from the Hampton Roads region into North Carolina that is proposed by the ACP would not be required.  The residents in the Hampton Roads area would have access to greater supplies of natural gas, more cheaply, with far less disruption of Virginia land and communities, sooner than they would if they depended on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.  If the members of the General Assembly who wrote to you were aware of this option, they might realize that it is a superior answer to their concerns.