The following statement was issued by Dominion Energy spokesperson Karl Neddenien in response to the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit's order, issued on Friday 11 January 2019, that denied Atlantic Coast Pipeline's motion for clarification on the court's stay of the US Fish & Wildlife Service's Biological Opinion and Incidental Take Statement:
“We fully stand behind the Fish & Wildlife Service's authorisation for this project. We believe the agency thoroughly addressed the issues in this case in the revised Biological Opinion and new Incidental Take Statement in September. In developing this project over the last four years, we have taken extraordinary care to protect the sensitive species at issue in this case. We will vigorously defend the agency's decisions and the measures we've taken to protect the species in oral arguments before the court in March.
“The issues in this case involve a narrow scope of the project – only four species that occupy roughly 100 miles in West Virginia and Virginia. We voluntarily suspended work on the project in early December after the Fourth Circuit temporarily stayed our revised Biological Opinion and new Incidental Take Statement so that we could get clarification on the impact of the stay order. The court's denial of our request to clarify the stay order is an interim order and not a decision on the overall merits of the case.
“Public utilities are depending on the ACP to generate cleaner electricity and provide more affordable, reliable energy to millions of consumers and businesses. Delaying the project will only force consumers and businesses to pay higher energy costs and slow down the transition to cleaner energy. Consumers are already paying higher energy costs than they should and major industries are having their natural gas service shut off during the winter months. We cannot solve these challenges without new infrastructure.”
Dominion Energy remains confident in the full completion of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline given the critical customer need and a route that has been exhaustively studied and permitted.
In investor materials published on 10 January 2019, (available on the Dominion Energy investor relations website), Dominion Energy provided updates that included:
- The expectation that, based on ACP construction recommencing by the 2Q19, the near-term earnings contribution from ACP will be modestly lower than had been expected prior to late 2018 work stoppages due to lower near-term capital investment in the project.
- The expectation that, given this ACP development and other modest headwinds including related to pension expense, the company will achieve at least the lower half of the 6% to 8% 2017 - 2020 compounded annual growth rate guidance range.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldpipelines.com/project-news/14012019/atlantic-coast-pipelines-motion-for-clarification-denied/