By Steve Kiggins
The proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline has been scrapped after years of legal challenges and construction delays.
The project's developers, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy, announced the pipeline's cancellationin a joint statement on Sunday, citing "increasing legal uncertainty" less than a month after the U.S. Supreme Court approved a critical permit that West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice celebrated as an "exciting" victory.
"This announcement reflects the increasing legal uncertainty that overhangs large-scale energy and industrial infrastructure development in the United States," Dominion CEO Tom Farrell and Duke CEO Lynn Good said in the statement. "Until these issues are resolved, the ability to satisfy the country's energy needs will be significantly challenged."
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., the ranking member of theSenate Energy and Natural Resources Committee,expressed disappointment in the project's cancellation in a statement, calling it "yet another reminder of why it is critically important we work together to find a responsible balance between the environment and economy."
The 600-mile natural gas project had faced opposition since its 2014 introduction from environmental advocates, landowners and activists who argued that the pipeline would scar pristine landscapes while also questioning its necessity.
The proposed $8 billion pipeline, which would have crossed under the Appalachian Trail and carried natural gas from West Virginia into North Carolina and Virginia, had been touted by supporters as a boost to economic development.
"This is a victory for all the communities that were in the path of this risky and unnecessary project. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline was wrong from the start," said Greg Buppert, senior attorney for the Virginia-basedSouthern Environmental Law Center, which represented more than a dozen conservation organizations who stood against the project, including the Sierra Club.
Virginia Democratic DelegateElizabeth Guzman credited "the voices of everyday people and grassroots organization" for driving...