The Atlantic Pipeline

Sep 2, 2014

Credit AP

Fracking has produced massive amounts of natural gas in West Virginia.  North Carolina and Virginia want some. 

Now, Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas have announced they would team up with AGL and Richmond-based Dominion to make that possible -- building a pipeline through Virginia.  The news provoked an outcry from the environmental community and grassroots groups.

Governor Terry McAuliffe, who got $150,000 in campaign contributions from Dominion during the last election cycle, stood beside the company’s CEO and pronounced the 550-mile pipeline a game changer for Virginia’s economy.

“As this project gets underway, the construction and permitting phase alone will generate 1.4 billion in economic activity in Virginia, and create 8,800 new jobs for the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

Once complete, the pipeline will sustain just 188 jobs, but McAuliffe said cheap new supplies of energy could help Virginia renew its manufacturing sector while cutting the state’s carbon emissions. Critics warn that the pipeline will encourage more fracking, which releases methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that traps heat.  They said investing in solar and wind energy would generate far more jobs without making climate change worse.