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Central Virginia Groups Rally Against New Atlantic Coast Pipeline Route

Posted: Updated: Mar 02, 2016 09:47 PM
New route for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline New route for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline
Kirk Bowers, pipelines campaign manager for the Virginia chapter of the Sierra Club Kirk Bowers, pipelines campaign manager for the Virginia chapter of the Sierra Club
Joe Lovett, executive director of Appalachian Mountain Advocates Joe Lovett, executive director of Appalachian Mountain Advocates
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Some central Virginia groups are rallying against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline after new developments. Energy companies behind the pipeline came up with a new route, but these groups say it's still not good enough.

The groups fighting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline say no route will be good enough. They say the state should be transitioning from coal to renewable energy not from coal to natural gas.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline could take a new route through central Virginia.

The alternative would reduce the pipeline's path through national forests by one third but would impact 249 new landowners. Not everyone is pleased with the alternative Dominion put forth.

“It really doesn't help anything because it just adds more damage to an already bad situation,” said Kirk Bowers, pipelines campaign manager for the Virginia chapter of the Sierra Club. 

The Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club met Wednesday night in Charlottesville.

Joe Lovett, the executive director of Appalachian Mountain Advocates, represents the Sierra Club in pipeline proceedings.

“We're working hard to make sure that the natural gas infrastructure doesn't get built in this region because if it does we'll never build the renewable infrastructure that we need,” said Lovett.

Lovett says the state should be looking at solar options.

“If we build $25 billion of natural gas infrastructure in this region now, we're going to be burning natural gas for 20 years even though we know that solar power is actually cheaper than gas,” said Lovett.

Frank Mack, a spokesperson from Dominion, said in a statement that the company is investing renewable energy too  but renewable energy alone cannot produce enough energy around the clock to make up for all the coal fired power stations closing.

The statement says:

“Dominion believes the best strategy is to invest in a variety of energy sources, which it is doing by investing in nuclear, natural gas and hydro as well as renewable energy such as solar, wind and renewable biomass.

“Renewable energy is a growing and important alternative, but it cannot by itself produce enough electricity to make up for so many coal-fired power stations expected to close, along with an increasing energy demand in the region.

“Solar and wind cannot be counted on when power is needed around the clock. Natural gas can. For these reasons, renewable energy sources are not a reasonable alternative to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.”

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