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New Report: “Falling demand, legal and regulatory challenges spell financial peril” for Mountain Valley Pipeline Project

"Mountain Valley Pipeline faces a significant risk that its capacity will be underutilized."

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According to this new report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), things are not look great for the fracked-gas Mountain Valley Pipeline boondoggle’s prospects. So sad, right? 😉  But seriously…let’s hope IEEFA is right, because this project is basically the exact *opposite* of what we should be doing right now, both on environmental and economic grounds, when it comes to energy. Among other problems, the Mountain Valley Pipeline “would be responsible for close to 90 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually, equivalent to 26 coal plants or 19 million vehicles on the road.” Which is absolutely bonkers, really, and should be enough reason alone to kill this absurd project.

With that, check out the new IEEFA report here, as well as a few highlights below:

  • “Forecasts for natural gas demand in the Mountain Valley Pipeline region have been revised and are substantially lower than projections that pipeline sponsors used as justification for the project.
  • “One of the shippers has likely lost its entire rationale for the project. If an appeals court upholds a North Carolina decision to deny a permit for an extension designed to bring natural gas into the state, Public Service Company of North Carolina’s rationale for contracting for capacity on the pipeline will have completely evaporated.
  • “Utilities that signed up to ship gas on the pipeline face a high risk that Mountain Valley will not provide their customers with less-expensive gas…with the erosion of price differentials between northern West Virginia gas and gas purchased from elsewhere on Transco, the utility customers face an increasing risk that buying into Mountain Valley’s capacity will not result in lower gas prices.”
  • Appalachian Basin pipeline capacity currently exceeds production, and prospects for greater production increasingly depend on a growing export market for Appalachian gas. This prospect is fraught with significant risks, including the likely possibilities that: (1) Asian liquefied natural gas (LNG) demand growth may be lower than expected; (2) lower-cost LNG-exporting nations may undermine U.S. export ambitions; (3) new proposals for U.S. LNG export terminals may face challenges in securing financing; and (4) new U.S. LNG terminals may obtain gas from suppliers outside Appalachia.”
  • Bottom line: “The natural gas markets have changed substantially since the Mountain Valley Pipeline was proposed in 2014. Domestic natural gas demand is expected to be flat to declining through the end of the decade in the region that Mountain Valley Pipeline is intended to serve. One of the shippers on Mountain Valley faces a high risk that its rationale for purchasing capacity on the pipeline will be completely undermined by the likely cancellation of the Southgate Extension. Pipeline capacity out of the Appalachian Basin exceeds production. Growth in Appalachian natural gas production is increasingly dependent on a growing export market for Appalachian gas, a prospect that faces significant risks. Thus, Mountain Valley Pipeline faces a significant risk that its capacity will be underutilized. “

 

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