Dominion 1Q20 – Atlantic Coast Pipeline Update, Next Steps

Dominion Energy issued its first-quarter 2020 update yesterday showing the company had a paper loss (due to impairments) of $270 million in 1Q. Given the company wrote down $2.6 billion worth of assets, losing $270 million on paper seems pretty darned good. Dominion is a BIG company with lots of different businesses. It is a midstream/pipeline company, a power generation company, and a utility delivering power to end-users. Lots of fingers, lots of pies. The one thing we were looking for in this update is new info about the company’s 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) from the Marcellus/Utica to Virginia and North Carolina.
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Virginia Passes New Law Aimed at Stopping Atlantic Coast Pipeline

A newly passed and signed-into-law bill in Virginia, House Bill (HB) 167, purportedly aims to “protect” electric consumers from shouldering the costs of new pipelines that would feed gas-fired power plants. What the bill actually does is remove freedom of choice for utility companies, driving up the cost of electricity in the Old Dominion. The bill does the opposite of what it says it will do. All in the name of trying to block Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project. What a sorry state of affairs in a once-great state.
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Dominion’s Net-Zero Emissions in Va. Does NOT Mean Fossil-Free

A recent column appearing in a Virginia newspaper shares what it believes is a revelation: When big energy/utility companies like Dominion Energy say they will achieve “net-zero carbon emissions,” they don’t mean they will stop using fossil fuels to create energy. Not by a long-shot. What “zero carbon” or “net-zero carbon” means is that all carbon dioxide (generated when burning natural gas to generate electricity, for example) is captured and used for something else. CO2 is not released into the atmosphere. Even though companies like Dominion are able to capture and reuse CO2, and prevent methane from leaking, it’s STILL not good enough for those who irrationally hate fossil fuels.
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Dominion Energy Buys 50% Stake in Jacksonville LNG

Last May MDN told you about JAX LNG in Jacksonville, Florida–a joint project between Pivotal LNG (a subsidiary of Southern Company Gas) and NorthStar Midstream (a pipeline company in the Bakken Shale), touted as the “first” small-scale LNG plant to be located along the shoreline, allowing it to fuel up LNG ships–ships that use LNG as fuel, instead of diesel–and also allowing the LNG to be loaded onto trucks and trains for transportation to power plants and industrial/commercial operators (see First US “Small-Scale” LNG Facility Launches in Jacksonville, FL). Last week Dominion Energy bought Pivotal from Southern, and along with it Pivotal’s 50% stake in JAX LNG (and 100% ownership of another LNG facility in Alabama). Yes, there is potentially a tie-in with the Marcellus/Utica.
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Court Victory for Atlantic Coast Pipe Against Nelson County, VA

The 600-mile Dominion Energy Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project has completed about 35 miles of the project and that’s it. Why? Lawsuits, brought by Big Green groups. The biggest challenge the project faces is a lawsuit that ruled ACP could not cross under the Appalachian Trail. Dominion appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court where it now sits. By all accounts, the recent oral arguments before the Supremes went well for ACP (see Atlantic Coast Pipeline had Very Good Day in US Supreme Court). Although the Supreme Court case is the biggest obstacle, there are other, smaller cases ACP still must overcome.
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Atlantic Coast Pipeline had Very Good Day in US Supreme Court

Yesterday the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) had its day in U.S. Supreme Court–and by all appearances, it was a very good day indeed. The right of the pipeline to cross the Appalachian Trail is the issue under consideration. In a case brought by environmentalist wackos, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled a permit granted by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is invalid because the U.S. Park Service manages the trail and according to law, USFS does not have jurisdiction over “lands” owned/managed by the Park Service. In practice such a ruling, if upheld, creates a thousand-mile long barrier across which no pipeline can cross. All of the articles we read about yesterday’s oral arguments before the Supremes indicate a likely decision in favor of the pipeline and against the wackos.
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Atlantic Coast Pipe Oral Arguments Today in U.S. Supreme Court

Oral arguments will be heard this morning beginning at 10 am at the U.S. Supreme Court on a case to decide whether or not the Appalachian Trail will, from now on, block all future pipelines from being installed under it. The case, U.S. Forest Service v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association, will determine whether or not Big Green wins the right to block Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project from crossing under the Appalachian Trail.
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Dominion Buys Out Atlantic Coast Pipe Partner; Going Green by ’50

Yesterday Dominion Energy issued its fourth quarter and full-year 2019 update. As part of the update, Dominion’s top brass talked about 2020 and beyond. Of particular interest for us was a bunch of news about the company’s stalled Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project. In particular, Dominion has purchased a small stake in the pipeline from partner Southern Co. for $175 million. The new price tag for the project has now gone to $8 billion. Even with the delays and setbacks in court, Dominion remains 100% committed to building ACP.
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Dominion’s SWPA JP-40 Pipeline Replacement Project Set to Begin

The new Dominion Energy Western Area HQ in Salem Twp

We recently became aware of a small (very small) Dominion pipeline project in western PA while covering the news of another smallish Dominion pipeline (see PA DEP OKs Dominion Pipeline to Feed PA NatGas to OH Power Plant). The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently issued a 401 certificate for the JP-40 Pipeline Replacement Project located in Salem, Hempfield, and Penn Townships, Westmoreland County.
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PA DEP OKs Dominion Pipeline to Feed PA NatGas to OH Power Plant

click for larger version

Dominion Energy’s West Loop Project will flow natural gas from western PA into Ohio to feed a new natural gas-fired electric plant being built there. We first noticed this small (but important) project in June 2019 (see Dominion Pipeline to Feed Western PA NatGas to OH Power Plant). The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued final approval for the project in December (see FERC OKs Dominion Pipeline to Feed PA NatGas to OH Power Plant). And now, the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has issued a Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the project.
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4th Circus Clown Judges Nix Va. Compressor Permit for AC Pipe

The Lorax Judge strikes again. One year ago the Virginia State Air Quality Board, at the prompting of Gov. Ralph Northam, voted to approve a low-emissions compressor station for Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), to be built about an hour outside of Richmond, Virginia (see Va. State Agency Approves Atlantic Coast Pipe Compressor Stn). Big Green groups with deep pockets litigated that decision, making the disgusting claim that the compressor station is “racist” because it will be built in a community founded by emancipated slaves following the Civil War.
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FERC OKs Dominion Pipeline to Feed PA NatGas to OH Power Plant

Dominion Energy’s West Loop Project will flow natural gas from western PA into Ohio to feed a new natural gas-fired electric plant. We first noticed this small (but important) project back in June (see Dominion Pipeline to Feed Western PA NatGas to OH Power Plant). Yesterday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a final approval for the project.
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21 Industry Groups Ask US Supreme Court to Restore Pipeline Permit

Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) previously filed a request with the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that judicially creates a new law stipulating pipelines can’t cross under the Appalachian Trail without (no kidding) an Act of Congress. The clown judges of the Fourth Circus (our name for that court) revoked a permit issued by the U.S. Forest Service. A list of 21 business and oil/gas industry groups filed a “friend of the court” brief yesterday supporting ACP, asking the Supremes to reinstate the Forest Service permit for the project.
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Dominion Issues RFP to Build Gas-Fired Peaker, Cancels Mo. Later

“Peaker plants” are small electric generating plants that produce electricity for brief periods during high demand. Older peakers were often powered by oil. Newer peakers are powered by natural gas. In early November Dominion Energy floated an RFP (request for proposal) for companies to build a series of peakers (no smaller than 50 megawatts) totaling a combined 1,500 MW to come online beginning 2022 in Virginia. A month later, following criticism from a competitor, Dominion has canceled the RFP…at least for now.
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Gov’t & Atlantic Coast Pipe File Briefs with U.S. Supreme Court

Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) previously filed a request with the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that judicially creates a new law stipulating pipelines can’t cross under the Appalachian Trail without (no kidding) an Act of Congress. The Supremes get 8,000 such requests each year, and accept maybe 80 (or 1%). Lightning struck. The ACP case was accepted by the Supremes in October (see U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Atlantic Coast Pipeline Case). Briefs by ACP and the Trump administration were filed on Monday.
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Report Says NC Gov Used Quid Pro Quo to Approve Atlantic Coast Pipe

A year ago North Carolina’s Republican-controlled General Assembly launched an investigation into a permit issued by Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper’s Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to allow the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project to get built (see NC Republicans Hounding Dem Gov for Approving Atlantic Coast Pipe). We said at the time this situation has made for some strange bedfellows–with rabid Democrat anti-fossil fuelers supporting the Republican investigation. That investigation recently concluded and a report was issued claiming Cooper and his administration are guilty of nefarious dealings in issuing the permit.
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