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Atlantic Coast Pipeline

After six years of lawsuits and construction delays, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy cancelled their plans for the contested Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) on July 5, 2020 — a shocking win for environmental and social justice groups. The 42-inch-wide underground pipeline would have run 600 miles across the South, increasing quantities of natural gas transported to Virginia and North Carolina customers while threatening communities in its path.

  • Cheaper renewable energy prices and a global market decline for coal caused the energy industry to shift from reliance on coal to natural gas.
  • Delivering natural gas requires thousands of pipelines. The difference is the proposed ACP was significantly larger than most existing pipelines, and would have been the first to traverse the Appalachian Trail. 
  • The ACP also would have crossed eight North Carolina counties, including citizens’ private property.

Duke and Dominion ultimately decided to cancel the pipeline, citing uncertainty, ongoing delays, and increased project costs from $5 billion to $8 billion. Outward forces influencing the decision included communities’ lack of faith in energy company claims (see above) and the state government permit process, rising recognition of environmental justice, and a legislative shift toward renewable energy. 

This cancellation led a series of pipeline defeats across the country. A federal court also halted the Dakota Access operations, and upheld a freeze on a key permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. These victories offer unprecedented opportunity to expand solar, wind, and other renewables. We need state-level policy changes and advocacy against energy monopolies to ensure a future with equitable, affordable, and Clean Energy for All.

More Scorecard

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Bills NCLCV Acted On, 2019-20 Sessions
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Green Tie Awards 2020
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Cuts to DEQ Funding: Impacts on Water Quality
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PFAS and GenX
These “forever chemicals” are a growing problem that legislators and the EPA are keeping us from solving.
Coal Ash
Gov. Cooper forced Duke Energy to move its coal ash but legislators are trying to let them send us the bill.
Hog Waste and the Farm Act of 2019
Legislators keep doing Smithfield Foods’ bidding, harming our health while protecting pork polluters.
Environmental Justice
Communities of color are disproportionately impacted by pollution and climate change.
Atlantic Coast Pipeline
In a victory for North Carolinians, Duke and Dominion Energy cancelled their pipeline plans.
Clean Energy
Gov. Cooper is leading us toward a clean energy future with good-paying jobs and a healthier climate.
Climate Resilience
Gov. Cooper’s DEQ has released a plan to help us weather the climate storm.

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