The companies behind the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline have decided to cancel the project, as ballooning costs have made the development prohibitively expensive.
Virginia-based Dominion Energy and North Carolina-based Duke Energy announced Sunday that they would be abandoning plans to construct the pipeline, which would have carried natural gas 600 miles through West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina underneath the Appalachian Trail.
Opposed by environmentalists from the very beginning, the energy companies have been mired in legal battles for years, delaying the build and making it more expensive. In June, the companies won a major case when the Supreme Court decided 7-2 to uphold their “right-of-way” permit.
Despite the victory, Dominion and Duke said other federal rulings increase the risk of litigation against the pipeline. In 2014, the project was only estimated to cost $5 billion. Today, that estimate has increased to $8 billion.
“This announcement reflects the increasing legal uncertainty that overhangs large-scale energy and industrial infrastructure development in the United States,” the chief executives of both companies said in a joint statement. “Until these issues are resolved, the ability to satisfy the country’s energy needs will be significantly challenged.”
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