Last week, two energy companies cancelled their natural gas pipeline which many North Carolina climate advocates considered the poster child for bad energy policy.
Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) sponsors Duke Energy and Dominion Energy made a surprise announcement last Sunday afternoon, deciding to pull the plug on their long-embattled project. Shocks to investors and celebration by opponents continue to reverberate in energy policy debates nationwide.
In their statement, Duke and Dominion blamed the cancellation on continued uncertainty. They cited multiple challenges and regulatory disputes with state agencies and citizen groups in state and federal courts. Consequently, the ACP was already three years behind schedule and $3 billion over budget.
Opponents in North Carolina, Virginia, and across the country celebrated the project’s demise, calling it a major victory for environmental justice and clean energy. Many also noted the damage already done by preparatory work will need to be repaired. A fight to keep the utilities from burdening customers and taxpayers with the failed project’s costs is almost certainly imminent.
Democracy Now prepared a special report on how Black and Indigenous groups led the fight to defeat the pipeline. The project would have crossed and disproportionately harmed their communities.
These accounts of citizens using democracy to fight injustice in their communities should encourage others in knowing their efforts make a difference.