You know how Gov. Terry McAuliffe has spent the past four years running around Virginia, repeating Dominion’s (laughable, false) talking points about how the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will be a “game changer” that will supposedly “spur economic growth in all parts of the commonwealth? Or how we’re supposedly “talking jobs, economic development, and it’s good for the environment…a win-win today for everybody?” Or how the pipeline will supposedly “create 8,800 jobs, produce $1.42 billion in economic activity in the Commonwealth and generate $14.6 million?” On and on it goes. I mean, is there anything the Atlantic Coast Pipeline can’t do? Cure the common cold? Done! Bring unemployment down to zero, with everyone making $1 gazillion a year for sitting home and watching Netflix? No problem! I mean, seriously, has this been the most laughably overhyped, oversold boondoggle in Virginia history or what?
Pretty much, yeah, according to an actual economic analysis, just published by the Applied Economics Clinic at Tufts University. Key findings from this study basically demolish all the Dominion Energy hot air TMac’s been spewing.
- This could cost Dominion customers a shit-ton. “Dominion claims that the ACP will save consumers money by supplying the region’s power producers with shale gas, even accounting for the additional cost to transport the gas from farther away…In fact, testimony using Dominion’s own, more recent cost projections concludes that Dominion’s customers may actually pay $1.61 to $2.36 billion more with the ACP than without the ACP over the next 20 years.”
- There’s no need, from a demand perspective, for the ACP. “Dominion and its pipeline partner Duke Energy (Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress) have lowered forecasted demand by 15,468 GWh in 2025 since the ICF report was released. This reduction in future energy load reflects a reduced need for new natural gas combined cycle generating capacity, and a corresponding reduction in demand for natural gas…. These lower utility demand forecasts would eliminate the need for a large amount of new natural gas generating capacity and avoid 375 million cubic feet per day of natural gas delivery.”
- Pipeline-induced job growth? Not likely. “Recent evidence from states with new natural gas pipeline capacity shows no support for the conclusion that the addition of new pipelines leads to additional opportunities for new manufacturing jobs in those states. There is no clear support for the claim that the ACP would lead to additional opportunities for new manufacturing in the region, and this is likely the case for other new natural gas pipelines such as the Mountain Valley Pipeline.”
- It’s even possible we’ll LOSE manufacturing jobs with the ACP. “Seven states with additional pipeline capacity saw both falling electricity prices and losses to manufacturing jobs, including Virginia,31 one of the states in which the ACP and MVP would deliver natural gas. West Virginia—a major natural gas producer and the origin for a number of new natural gas pipelines including the ACP and MVP—has experienced increased electricity prices coupled with losses in manufacturing jobs in the state.”