Citing the reduction of energy costs for Virginians and the creation of thousands of jobs, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe this week endorsed the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, an up to $5 billion, 550-mile proposal by a consortium led by energy giant Dominion Resources to build a natural gas pipeline through West Virginia to North Carolina.
The pipeline would pass through more than a dozen mostly rural counties in Virginia (with a spur into the more populous Hampton Roads area). It also supersedes a proposal made earlier this summer by Houston-based Spectra Energy to build a similar north-south pipeline farther east — including through Rappahannock County.
Like the other recent proposals, the Atlantic Coast project has met with significant opposition from environmental groups and conservation-minded landowners. “This is the wrong project at the wrong time,” Chesapeake Climate Action Network executive director Mike Tidwell told The Washington Post on Tuesday. “Instead of touting a massive investment in more communities destroyed by fracking wells, divided by pipelines and wrecked by runaway climate change, [Dominion chief executive] Tom Farrell and Gov. McAuliffe should be announcing a full-scale investment in Virginia’s vast and barely tapped clean-energy resources.”