Atlantic Coast Pipe Scores Important Approval in Suffolk, VA

Location of Suffolk, VA (click for larger version)

Dominion Energy’s 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) has scored a second important victory this week. On Monday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission lifted a stop-work order for the entire project (see Victory! FERC Lifts Stop Work Order for Atlantic Coast Pipeline). We’ve just learned that on Wednesday, the Suffolk (VA) City Council voted to give ACP permission to build and operate the pipeline within “city limits.” Which on the surface may sound pretty minor compared to lifting a total stop-work order. But the Suffolk vote is a big deal. Suffolk is itself its own equivalent of a county. Suffolk is an independent city–not part of any county in the state of Virginia. Although its population is only a little over 90,000 people, the “city” covers 429 square miles! It’s huge! It’s the largest city (by land mass) in Virginia. Much of it is rural. Suffolk is located near the coast, in the greater Virginia Beach area (close to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay). ACP will need to pass under some 30 Suffolk roadways and 2 former railroad right-of-ways. The vote was 5-0 with three others abstaining because they own stock in Dominion…
Continue reading

Antis File Lawsuit Against Reworked Atlantic Coast Pipe Permits

Earlier this week we brought you the good news that the forces of good have overcome the forces of evil–evil being the Sierra Club and the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) and their mission to stop the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) from getting built (see Victory! FERC Lifts Stop Work Order for Atlantic Coast Pipeline). The FERC stop-work order came in early August after a federal court pulled permits for approximately 100 miles of ACP in response to a lawsuit filed by the anti-American Sierra Club and a few other groups, including the radical SELC (see Federal Court Stops Works on Some (All?) of Atlantic Coast Pipe). The Clubbers and their cohorts convinced the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals 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. FWS and NPS have reworked and have now reissued their permits, which is why FERC lifted the stop-work order. Predictably, the SELC, on behalf of the Clubbers and a few other far-out leftist groups, has already filed an appeal with the Fourth Circuit to overturn the newly-reworked permits…
Continue reading

17,000 Atlantic Coast Pipeline Workers Now Back on the Job

Two days ago we reported that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission had finally lifted the stop-work order for Dominion Energy’s huge 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (see Victory! FERC Lifts Stop Work Order for Atlantic Coast Pipeline). In a new article talking about ACP workers resuming work on the project, we learn there are a massive 17,000 workers who work on this project. We also learn something else: Even though there has been no work on the project for over a month, since FERC shut down all work on it in early August (see FERC Shuts Down ALL Work on Atlantic Coast Pipeline), Dominion did not lay off those 17,000 workers! When the same thing happened to EQT Midstream’s Mountain Valley Pipeline, EQT laid off roughly half of their pipeline workers–perhaps as many as 3,000 (see Sierra Club Forces Thousands of Pipeline Workers Out of Work). The fact that Dominion didn’t lay off any workers is truly remarkable. Why did’t they lay them off? And what did those workers do in the meantime? The answers will surprise and impress you…
Continue reading

Cove Point LNG Plant Down for 3 Weeks of Maintenance

In early June MDN told you that Dominion Energy’s Cove Point LNG export plant is due to shut down–after being online for just a few months–for scheduled maintenance (see Cove Point LNG Shutting Down for Maintenance This Fall). The shutdown will be for “a few weeks” and occur “in autumn,” according to Dominion’s statement back in June. Although we can’t track down an official announcement from Dominion, LNG World News is reporting the shutdown is here now, and that it will last for three weeks, beginning with this week. Does that mean all Marcellus LNG exports will stop for the next three weeks? In June, Dominion CEO Tom Farrell told Reuters: “Asked whether there would be any interruption in LNG exports from the site on the coast of the state of Maryland, Farrell said that would depend on whether gas storage tanks with capacity to hold nearly 15 billion cubic feet of the commodity were exhausted”…
Continue reading

Victory! FERC Lifts Stop Work Order for Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Once again, the forces of good have overcome the forces of evil–evil being the Sierra Club and the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) and their mission to stop the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) from getting built. Yesterday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) lifted a previously issued stop-work order that had idled work along the entire 600+ mile ACP. The stop-work order came in early August after a federal court pulled permits for approximately 100 miles of ACP in response to a lawsuit filed by the anti-American Sierra Club and a few other groups, including the SELC (see Federal Court Stops Works on Some (All?) of Atlantic Coast Pipe). The Clubbers and their cohorts convinced the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn permits granted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. National Park Service, granted to ACP to cross the Blue Ridge Parkway. The court, in rolling back ACP’s permits, told FERC they should shut down work on the entire project until this matter is resolved. A few days later, on August 10, FERC did just that (see FERC Shuts Down ALL Work on Atlantic Coast Pipeline). Work has now been stopped for over a month, but yesterday FERC reversed its decision and told ACP they can resume work because last week both the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service revised and reissued the permits previously overturned by the court. Therefore, we’re all good now. Dominion (the builder) said construction will resume “immediately,” weather permitting…
Continue reading

Could Atlantic Coast Pipe Feed LNG Exports from South Carolina?

This is all kind of speculative, but we find it intriguing and exciting. If you’ve read MDN for any length of time, you’re read about Dominion Energy’s 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which will run from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina–near the border with South Carolina. Unfortunately construction is currently on hold following revocation of some permits by a federal court, and an order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in August to stop work on the entire project, for now (see FERC Shuts Down ALL Work on Atlantic Coast Pipeline). That won’t last–progress is being made to rework the necessary permits to the court’s liking, and Dominion has asked that FERC lift the stop work order for the rest of the line in the meantime (see Atlantic Coast Pipeline Asks FERC to Lift Stop-Work Order). At any rate, here’s where it gets interesting. Late last year a top Dominion official speculated that his company will look to expand Atlantic Coast into more of North Carolina, and extend it across the border into South Carolina, after the initial project is complete (see Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s Future Plans: Expand in NC & SC). In addition to building Atlantic Coast, Dominion is also in the process of buying South Carolina-based SCANA Corporation, the main electric and gas utility for most of South Carolina (see Dominion Buys SCANA, Mulls Atlantic Coast Pipe Expansion into SC). Antis are now connecting the dots and say if Dominion buys SCANA and if Dominion extends Atlantic Coast into SC, they believe an LNG export facility will get built in either Georgetown or Charleston to export Marcellus/Utica gas coming south…
Continue reading

Weird: NC Republicans Target Dem Gov for Supporting M-U Pipeline

It doesn’t typically happen this way, which makes us feel like we’re Alice that’s just fallen through the looking glass. Normally (not always) Republicans support fracking and pipelines and fossil fuels in general, and Democrats (increasingly) do not. But in North Carolina, the roles are reversed. Republicans in the NC legislature have launched an investigation into Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper over his support of Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline project. The lawmakers claim a $57.8 million discretionary fund set up by Cooper was, in fact, a “pay to play” slush fund, funded by ACP partners (including Dominion) to help them obtain a permit from the NC Department of Environmental Quality. The allegation is that Cooper got the companies to commit to giving the state $57.8 million, and a day later voila, they had their permit. Quid pro quo. Cooper says the money will be used to repair so-called environmental damage from constructing the pipeline. Republicans say it stinks to high heaven and he needs to “let go” of the money. Seems to us like this is just the latest skirmish in a long-running war between the two sides, and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project is collateral damage, caught in the middle…
Continue reading

Dominion Takes Out $3B Loan for Cove Point Facility

This another one of those high finance thangs we don’t fully understand. Dominion Energy spent $4 billion to build their Cove Point LNG export facility in Lusby, Maryland. Somehow and somewhere they got money to build it–investors perhaps, or maybe Dominion had some cash tucked away under the corporate mattress. Dominion wants to get some of that debt off its books, so it has just structured a three-year loan with 20 lenders for $3 billion, reducing the company’s “parent level debt”–as opposed to child or subsidiary level debt. What it all means, if we’re understanding it correctly, is that Dominion is moving debt from the parent company’s balance sheet to the Cove Point subsidiary company’s balance sheet. Prior to this, Cove Point “owed” the money to Dominion itself (all in the family), and now, instead, the Cove Point subsidiary will owe that money to lenders directly. That’s our take. Hopefully it won’t take long for Cove Point to pay off the debt…
Continue reading

Dominion Buying a Piece of Competitive Mountain Valley Pipeline

Here’s some dots that we’ve not seen anyone else connect. There are two competing pipeline projects that generally run along the same route to shuttle Marcellus/Utica gas to the southeastern U.S. One project is EQT Midstream’s Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), which runs 303 miles from West Virginia into southern Virginia. MVP is facing a court case that’s idled three-fourths of the project, leading to a layoff of “thousands” of workers (see FERC Lets MVP Restart Work on 25% of Pipe; MVP Lays off ‘Thousands’). The other project is Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), a 600+ mile pipeline from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina, almost to the border with South Carolina. ACP is currently idled because of a similar court case (see FERC Shuts Down ALL Work on Atlantic Coast Pipeline). Both EQT and Dominion believe the court order and FERC’s directive is only a temporary setback. Both believe their projects will be completed sometime next year. Here’s where it gets interesting. Although MVP has not officially filed with FERC (yet), they do plan to expand from the current termination point in Pittsylvania County, VA another 70 miles into North Carolina (see Mountain Valley Pipeline Launches Plan to Expand 70 Miles into NC). That new portion of MVP is called the Southgate project. Last week PSNC Energy, based in North Carolina, purchased a 30% share in the MVP Southgate project. PSNC is a subsidiary of South Carolina-based SCANA Corp. Sound familiar? Dominion Energy is right now in the process of closing a deal to buy/merge in SCANA Corp. (see FERC Approves Dominion Energy/SCANA Merger – Deal Still Alive). Ergo, Dominion is buying a 30% stake in its primary competitor to flow Marcellus/Utica gas south…
Continue reading

Advisory Panel Pressures Va. Gov. to Block 2 “Racist” Pipelines

Here we go again. More talk from desperate liberals who irrationally hate fossil fuels, claiming the location of two pipelines in Virginia is “racist.” You didn’t know that an inert metal tube could be racist, did you? Yeah, it’s stupid and silly and beyond words–but there you have it. Our schools are doing such a poor job of educating our citizens, they grow up to believe in wild fairy tales and declare anyone (or anything) that is not their particular skin color must be racist. In Virginia, the Governor’s Advisory Council on Environmental Justice, is recommending to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam that he should illegally (against federal law) rescind federal Clean Water Act permits that allow both the $6.5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline (Dominion Energy) and $3.7 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline (EQT Midstream) from crossing the state. The Advisory Council’s tortured thinking is that the pipeline runs through a few poor/black communities–so it MUST be racist. No mention of the fact that such pipelines actually benefit communities and individuals economically. Pipelines get no credit for economically benefiting nearby communities–they only get dinged for flowing an evil fossil fuel that supposedly causes man-made global warming…
Continue reading

4th Circuit Rejects Sierra Club Request to Block Atlantic Coast Pipe

In something of a twist, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals elected NOT to officially shut down all construction of the 600+ mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project. You may recall the Sierra Club and several other anti-American Big Green groups 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 (see Federal Court Stops Works on Some (All?) of Atlantic Coast Pipe). The rolled-back permits affect some 100 miles of work. Shortly after the Fourth Circuit decision, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) told Atlantic Coast to shut down all construction everywhere (see FERC Shuts Down ALL Work on Atlantic Coast Pipeline). FERC’s shut-down is expected to be temporary. Meanwhile, back at the litigation ranch, the Big Green groups asked the Fourth Circuit to shut down all construction on ACP until the lawsuit plays out–over a period of years. It was to that request the court said no…
Continue reading

Black Baptists Join Yoga Cult to Oppose Atlantic Coast Pipe

Although the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline, being built by Dominion Energy, is currently idled with no construction due to a directive from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), some communities along the route of the pipeline are still agitating and protesting against it. In one of the more bizarre cases, a black Baptist pastor is whipping up his congregation against the project in rural Buckingham County, VA. But that’s not all. The black pastor is joining forces with a nearby commune (cult?) in Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville. The Baptist pastor had himself a religious experience when he visited Yogaville, pronouncing their views on religion (opposite of his own) just fine with him–because they both hate the pipeline. Looks like politics comes before God for the good pastor and his congregation…
Continue reading

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Asks FERC to Lift Stop-Work Order

Borrowing a chapter from EQT and their Mountain Valley Pipeline project, Dominion Energy has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to lift a stop-work order for its 600+ mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project. On Tuesday MVP sent a letter to FERC requesting the agency lift it’s stop-work order for them (see Mountain Valley Pipe Asks FERC to Lift Stop Work Order). A day later, yesterday, ACP did the same thing. Last week a federal court pulled permits for approximately 100 miles (of 600 miles) for ACP in response to a frivolous lawsuit filed by the anti-American Sierra Club (see FERC Shuts Down ALL Work on Atlantic Coast Pipeline). The Clubbers convinced the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn permits granted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. National Park Service, granted to ACP to cross the Blue Ridge Parkway. The court, in rolling back ACP’s permits, told FERC they should shut down work on the entire project until this matter is resolved. Last Friday FERC did just that. Yesterday Dominion politely asked FERC to ignore the court and lift the ban for those portions not part of the actual court order. Dominion got some moral support from West Virginia’s congressional delegation in their effort. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito, along with Rep. David McKinley wrote a letter to FERC asking the agency to lift the stop-work order for both ACP and MVP…
Continue reading

FERC Shuts Down ALL Work on Atlantic Coast Pipeline

As MDN predicted last week (see Federal Court Stops Works on Some (All?) of Atlantic Coast Pipe), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, following a ruling by a federal court that vacated (withdrew) permits for work being done on Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), has told Dominion to quit working on all of the pipeline everywhere. At least until this current legal mess, created by the Sierra Club, can be sorted out. It was an easy prediction to make. FERC did the same thing with Mountain Valley Pipeline when the same court pulled permits for a piddly 3.5 miles of pipeline as it crosses the Jefferson National Forest (see FERC Shuts Down ALL Work on Mountain Valley Pipeline in WV, VA) . In ACP’s case, the court pulled permits for work on 100 miles of pipeline (out of 600 miles). Dominion said in a statement that they’re already working with the two agencies that had issued various permissions overturned by the court, and Dominion expects the matter will be resolved quickly so that the final in-service date is not moved. As a reminder, the Sierra Club convinced the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals 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 some 100 miles of work. The court, in rolling back ACP’s permits, told FERC they should shut down work on the entire project until this matter is resolved. On Friday FERC did just that…
Continue reading

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?…
Continue reading

Dominion Energy 2Q18: Cove Point, SCANA, ACP & More

There is a LOT going on at Dominion Energy that impacts the Marcellus/Utica region. Yesterday Dominion posted its second quarter 2018 update and held a conference call with investors to discuss what happened during 2Q18, and what to expect in coming quarters. Discussed on the call: (1) The Cove Point LNG export plant went online in 2Q18 and so far has shipped 19 cargoes of LNG–60 billion cubic feet of gas! (2) The $1.3 billion Greensville County, VA gas-fired electric plant is 95% built and will go online later this year. (3) The Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Supply Header Project is under construction and on track to be online by fourth quarter of 2019. (4) The SCANA Corporation merger is moving along, and a big decision from a judge is coming by Aug. 7 about whether or not SC can unilaterally force SCANA to lower electric rates by 15%. If the judge tosses that law and the 15% price reduction is out, the merger is in. If the price reduction stays, the merger is (our conclusion) questionable. Yeah, there’s a lot going on. Below are excerpts from the quarterly conference call, the full 2Q18 update, and the latest slide deck…
Continue reading