An ACP work site on Mt. Carmel Road in late November 2018.

Atlantic Coast Pipeline project abandoned by Duke and Dominion Energy

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which was set to travel across Upshur County en route to North Carolina, has been canceled.

“Today we announced that we are no longer moving forward with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP),” Dominion Energy and Duke Energy announced in a joint statement Sunday afternoon.

“This was a necessary decision given the legal uncertainties facing the project, and we deeply regret that we were unable to complete this project,” the statement says. “While the need for new infrastructure in our region remains, there is too much legal uncertainty to continue moving forward with this project.”

The Sunday announcement came as a surprise. Just last week, Dominion Energy told My Buckhannon they expected work on the pipeline to “quickly ramp up” following a U.S. Supreme Court decision in June that eliminated a key hurdle related to the Appalachian Trail.

Construction on the pipeline was halted in late 2018. Since then, the price of natural gas has plummeted, causing the nation’s largest natural gas company, Chesapeake Energy, to file for bankruptcy last week.

The price of natural gas has fallen more by more than half since 2018 and is down 90 percent since its peak in 2005.

The cost of the ACP project also increased sharply, from initial estimates of $4 billion to more recent guidance of $8 billion or more.

Separately, Dominion announced Sunday that it will sell its gas transmission business to Berkshire Hathaway Energy for $4 billion in cash and the assumption of $5.7 billion in debt.

“We regret that we will be unable to complete the Atlantic Coast Pipeline,” Thomas F. Farrell, II, Dominion Energy chairman, president, and chief executive officer, and Lynn J. Good, Duke Energy chair, president, and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “For almost six years we have worked diligently and invested billions of dollars to complete the project and deliver the much-needed infrastructure to our customers and communities.”

In a press release, Dominion and Duke thanked those who worked on the project.

“Over the last six years, tens of thousands of people across West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina have contributed to the development of this project,” according to the release. “To the ACP team members, partners, contractors and supporters, we thank you. You have worked day and night, on weekends and on holidays to build a brighter economic and environmental future for our region. You have shown tremendous care for the communities we serve and the environment we share. You represent the very best of our industry, and you should be proud of the role of you have played in this transformational project.”

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