A majority of voters in Virginia and the other states where the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline would run support its construction, according to a poll released yesterday by the industry-backed Consumer Energy Alliance.
Of the 500 voters polled earlier this month, support for the US$5 billion, 550 mile pipeline Dominion wants to build was at 56% in Virginia, 70% in West Virginia and 55% in North Carolina.
Dominion hailed the poll as another sign that the persistent protests against the project do not represent broader public opinion.
“The poll confirms what the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s companies have known since the project began – that there is strong support for the project all up and down its 550 mile length in the three states,” said Diane Leopold, President of Dominion Energy, the Dominion subsidiary that has joined with Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources to propose the project.
“This pipeline will serve multiple public utilities and their urgent energy needs to generate electricity as well as to heat homes and run local businesses.”
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which requires federal approval, would bring natural gas from the shale fields of West Virginia through Virginia and to North Carolina.
The company said more than 80% of landowners have agreed to have their property surveyed, but that it expects to take legal action against more than 100 property owners along the route.
Dominion expects a final decision on whether it can build the pipeline from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by autumn 2016.
Comments filed on the proposed project
In related news, some 28 000 comments on the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) were filed at FERC during a recent 60 day scoping period, 82% of them in support of the project, according to an analysis prepared for the project's backers by Natural Resource Group.
The bulk of the comments (21 896) came from non-governmental organisations (NGO) and were favourable, according to the 100 page report, which was filed by Dominion Transmission Inc. on behalf of Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC (PF15-6) in the early stages of the review process.
Most of the opposition to the project came from environmental non-governmental organisations (ENGO), which were the source of 3260 comments, all but three of them filed in opposition to the proposed pipeline.
Edited from various sources by Elizabeth Corner
Sources: Daily Progress, Natural Gas Intel