The press releases were flying Tuesday as two North Carolina companies announced they would work with Dominion Power to build a 550-mile gas pipeline through Virginia. Governor Terry McAuliffe called a news conference to express his support for the project, and environmentalists expressed dismay.
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.
This week, the Richmond Times-Dispatch said the state’s largest electric utility, Dominion Power, was exploring solar energy in Virginia and environmentalists cheered. But the utility isn’t making any promises, and the state lags far behind its neighbors when it comes to green energy.
Proposed natural gas pipelines that would carry fuel from West Virginia to North Carolina have raised protest all over the state. In Floyd, residents are seeing unmarked trucks with unidentified drivers showing up on their land asking to do a site survey, presumably for siting of the pipeline. The town is calling upon the power companies behind to explain their intentions.
It has the feel of a stealth operation. Power companies Next Era Energy and EQT have still not contacted town leaders but surveyors have visited landowners who own property along the proposed route.