Report: Proposed Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines Not Needed
A new study suggests that two proposed interstate pipelines are not needed because existing pipelines can supply more than enough fuel to power the region through 2030.
AFTON, Va. (WVIR) - Two controversial natural gas pipelines projects being proposed for Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina are catching receiving more criticism.
The study says the two proposed pipelines aren't needed because current systems in place can supply enough fuel for the region until 2030.
Instead of adding more pipelines, the study suggests making some slight modifications and upgrades to the ones already in place.
The Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines would run for a combined length of more than 800 miles and transport natural gas from West Virginia to people in Virginia and North Carolina.
"It will create more greenhouse gases than burning coal would for same amount of energy. The real victim here is this region, generally. And our children and our grandchildren will be stuck with this infrastructure built in this region now for the next 40 years," said Appalachian Mountain Advocates Executive Director Joe Lovett.
Dominion Resources, which is part of Dominion Virginia Power, is behind the the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project.
"There is an urgent need for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to meet the growing energy needs of public utilities in Virginia and North Carolina. The demand for natural gas for these two states is expected to grow by 165 percent over the next 20 years,” said Dominion spokesperson Aaron Ruby.
Instead of adding more pipelines, the study suggests energy companies make modifications and upgrades to current infrastructure.
“The existing infrastructure, with cost effective upgrades and modifications, is more than adequate to meet demand through 2030," said Southern Environmental Law Center senior attorney Greg Buppert.
“Our existing pipelines in the region are constrained and operating near full capacity, they are not capable of meeting the region’s growing need as far natural gas. In order to generate cleaner electricity, provide home heating for a growing population and attract new industry to our region we need new pipeline infrastructure and that's why we are proposing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline," Ruby said.
Ruby argues that the study includes a lot of misleading data, and that it shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how the natural gas pipeline system works.
The report says if the pipelines are approved it would lock the mid-Atlantic region into depending on this natural gas for 80 years. It concludes that both pipelines would financially benefit the parent utility companies, and create higher bills for customers to cover the construction.