Dominion Energy says the recent cold snap highlights the need for more natural gas pipelines in Virginia.
The company says local providers had to cut gas to some large industrial customers in Hampton Roads and in North Carolina, so that residential customers had enough fuel.
Dominion spokesman Aaron Ruby says increased demand and constraints on an existing regional pipeline also caused a big short-term spike the price of natural gas. "If we had had the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, consumers in Virginia and North Carolina could have save hundreds of millions of dollars in their fuel costs," Ruby said. "And so I think what this tells us is we need new infrastructure and we need to bring that new infrastructure online as soon as possible."
Ruby says construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would help even-out demand on existing infrastructure and improve access to lower-cost natural gas supplies.
Dominion has also argued that new pipeline infrastructure is necessary to support future economic development. "Our pipelines are stretched so thin that we're struggling to keep up with current demand," Ruby said, "let alone support manufacturers and other new industries that want to come to Virginia."