Federal Court Stops Works on Some (All?) of Atlantic Coast Pipe

In a pattern that has become obvious, and disturbing, the radicalized Sierra Club has once again prevailed in shutting down work on a second mammoth pipeline project–Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP)–by concentrating their legal arguments at one small, specific point of the project. This happened with Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). As we reported yesterday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) told MVP to stop work on the entire project, at least for now (see FERC Shuts Down ALL Work on Mountain Valley Pipeline in WV, VA). The Sierra Club convinced the without-experience-in-the-oil-and-gas-industry judges of the federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn permits granted by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to build MVP across 3.5 miles of Jefferson National Forest, on the border of WV and VA. This time, with ACP, the Sierra Club convinced the Fourth Circuit to overturn permits granted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) granted to ACP to cross the Blue Ridge Parkway. However, the rolled-back permits affect more of ACP than MVP–about 100 miles of work out of 600+ miles. The court, in rolling back ACP’s permits all but told FERC they need to shut down work on the entire project until this matter is resolved. The court can’t order FERC to do so, but they strongly cautioned FERC that they should do so. Since FERC stopped work on MVP, it stands to reason they will do it with ACP too. So lightening has now struck twice, and it’s not good. Dominion maintains they will continue to build ACP except for those areas where the Fourth Circuit has rolled back permits. In other words, they’ll keep building it in North Carolina and some locations in WV. All eyes are now on FERC. We hate to say this, but our guess is that FERC will shut down the entire ACP project, for now. It’s virtually the same scenario as MVP which FERC elected to shut down. Why would this project be any different?…

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