Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Lyndsey Gilpin

Dominion Energy and Duke Energy announced the cancellation of the controversial 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline Sunday. 

A protest sign against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline on Francine Stephenson's property in Johnston County.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

The developers of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline announced Sunday that they are canceling the multi-state natural gas project, citing delays and increasing cost uncertainty.

Sign reads: "Atlantic Coast Pipeline No Trespassing"
Lyndsey Gilpin

A U.S. Supreme Court decision last week allows the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to travel under a section of the Appalachian Trail in Virginia. 

Steve Helber / AP

The Supreme Court on Monday appeared ready to remove an obstacle to construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, with a majority of justices expressing skepticism about a lower court ruling that tossed out a key permit needed for the natural gas pipeline to cross under the Appalachian Trail.

A large pipe on construction grounds.
Lyndsey Gilpin

Construction of the planned 600-mile underground pipeline is already behind schedule. Protests and bureaucratic hurdles plague the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which is planned to carry natural gas from West Virginia, to Southeast Virginia before turning south into the North Carolina counties of Northampton, Halifax, Nash, Wilson, Johnston, Sampson, Cumberland and Robeson, where it ends.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Plans to overhaul North Carolina's Medicaid program are on an indefinite hold — another casualty of the budget impasse. 

A Republican-led investigation concluded Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper improperly handled negotiations over a mitigation fund related to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project.

And, on the heels of legislative redistricting, a five-term state senator has announced his retirement. 

Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch and Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation give their takes — from the left and the right — on what's behind the week's political news. 


Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

An investigation launched by the Republican-controlled General Assembly has concluded that Gov. Roy Cooper improperly handled negotiations over a $57.8 million fund related to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project.

The proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline run through eight counties in Eastern North Carolina.
Roy Luck / Flickr/ Creative Commons

A federal appeals court on Friday tossed out key permits related to the Atlantic Coast pipeline, saying that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decisions regarding the permits were “arbitrary and capricious,” and that the agency seemed to have “lost sight of its mandate” to protect endangered and threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

The proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline run through eight counties in Eastern North Carolina.
Roy Luck / Flickr/ Creative Commons

Gov. Roy Cooper’s handing of the permit process for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is under scrutiny.

New information from public records requests raises questions about the role he played in the dispute between Duke Energy and Strata Solar, a solar energy company that Cooper was once in business with and his brother continues to make money from. NC Insider Reporter Lauren Horsch combed through public records including Cooper’s schedule and e-mails and texts with his staff, which revealed a 2017 correspondence from the CEO of Strata Solar requesting that the governor make “a call to Duke leadership.”

FILE - In a Tuesday June 6, 2017 file photo, hydrologist William K. Jones, walks up a mountain near the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Bolar, Va. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released its final environmental impact statement.
Steve Helber, File / AP

A permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross two national forests, including parts of the Appalachian Trail, was thrown out Thursday by a federal appeals court that harshly criticized regulators for approving the proposal.

FILE - In a Tuesday June 6, 2017 file photo, hydrologist William K. Jones, walks up a mountain near the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Bolar, Va.
Steve Helber, File / AP

Federal officials have ordered that construction be halted on the Atlantic Coast pipeline, days after a federal appeals court threw out two key permits for building the 600-mile natural gas pipeline.

Image of pipeline path
U.S. Energy Information Administration / Flickr Creative Commons

Federal judges rejected two key permits Monday in a move that may impede construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a 600-mile project to transport natural gas from West Virginia to North Carolina by way of Virginia. 

The Northampton County site where an Atlantic Coast Pipeline compressor station is being built.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Federal regulators are allowing work on the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline to expand in North Carolina.

A protest sign against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline on Francine Stephenson's property in Johnston County.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Environmental groups and the lead developer of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline were at odds Wednesday over what happens now that a federal appeals court has vacated a key permit for the multistate project.

a portion of a pipeline
Roy Luck / Flickr Creative Commons

On Tuesday, a federal appeals court issued a decision that created a roadblock for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. A three-judge panel of the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service review of the pipeline. The federal review is known as an incidental take statement, and it is meant to set limits on killing threatened or endangered species during construction and operation. 

A protest sign against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline on Francine Stephenson's property in Johnston County.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Crews are already cutting trees in Northampton and Robeson counties to make way for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the 600-mile-long delivery system that will carry natural gas from West Virginia, across Virginia, and through North Carolina. The pipeline will cut an eight-county, 200-mile-long path across the Tar Heel State with supporters and opponents all along the route.

A chart showing the electricity generation capacity in North Carolina in 2016.
Courtesy of NCSU

The proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline promises to bring huge quantities of cheap natural gas to North Carolina, which could slow growth for solar power.

North Carolina is technically the second largest producer of solar energy in America. N.C. State University Energy Economist Harrison Fell explained the state is capable of running seven percent of the energy grid on solar. But, of course, it's not always sunny.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

It was a hectic week in downtown Raleigh, where lawmakers sparred with Governor Roy Cooper, debated the components of a multifaceted bill, and closed in on the 2018 election, which begins Monday with candidate filings.

Lauren Horsch, a reporter with the NC Insider, reviews the week with WUNC Capitol Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberii and notes her favorite winter Olympic sport.

exterior of the NC State Legislature
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a class size bill, and North Carolina’s redistricting saga are among the issues in the news this week in state politics. Also, how open is North Carolina state’s  government and how accessible is it for journalists and the public to access what happens at the General Assembly?

Photo of the NC state senate chambers
Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily blocked new voting maps for Wake and Mecklenburg counties. The districts are in the state’s two most populous counties, and the decision comes just days before candidates are set to start filing for office.

A picture of segments of pipeline.
Harald Hoyer / Creative Commons

Crews have started cutting down trees to make way for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Photo of two women holding signs
Anne Meador / Flickr Creative Commons

After months of deliberation, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has granted an important permit for the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The 401 water quality permit will allow developers Dominion Energy and Duke Energy to construct the pipeline along the I-95 corridor as long as they adhere to certain water quality standards. More permits are required for construction to begin, but opponents were hoping the state would withhold the water permit, which could have stopped construction of the pipeline even with its federal approval.

FILE - In a Tuesday June 6, 2017 file photo, hydrologist William K. Jones, walks up a mountain near the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Bolar, Va.
Steve Helber, File / AP

The state Department of Environmental Quality has issued a major permit two energy companies need to build the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

FILE - In a Tuesday June 6, 2017 file photo, hydrologist William K. Jones, walks up a mountain near the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Bolar, Va. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released its final environmental impact statement.
Steve Helber, File / AP

Duke Energy and Dominion Energy have filed court documents to acquire land via eminent domain for construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. 

irginia Department of Environmental Quality Firector, David Paylor walks along a retention pond for a spring near the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Bolar, Va.
Steve Helber, File / AP

A divided panel of federal regulators granted approvals Friday evening for the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley natural gas pipelines, major East Coast projects.

UNC Chapel Hill Basketball game
Hanging Curve / Wikimedia Commons -2017

The NCAA infractions committee issued a verdict today and concluded it could not find evidence the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill violated academic rules with the use of fake classes. 

FILE - In a Tuesday June 6, 2017 file photo, hydrologist William K. Jones, walks up a mountain near the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Bolar, Va.
Steve Helber, File / AP

When Dominion Energy applied for approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the publicly-unveiled plan indicated that the natural gas line would end in the middle of a field in Robeson County, North Carolina.
 

Virginia department of Environmental Quality director, David Paylor, walks along a retention pond for a spring near the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline Tuesday, June 6, 2017, in Bolar, Va. Virginia's top environmental official insists the st
Steve Helber / AP

Developers are asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to give final approval by the end of this month to the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

FILE - In a Tuesday June 6, 2017 file photo, hydrologist William K. Jones, walks up a mountain near the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Bolar, Va.
Steve Helber, File / AP

A controversial pipeline project is getting some support from local elected leaders in the eastern part of the state.

pipeline construction
Public Herald / Flickr - Creative Commons

The federal regulatory body responsible for assessing for the environmental effects of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline recently released their final report. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission determined the project will incur “some adverse effects” but proper safety and environmental mitigation will reduce the risk “to less-than significant levels.” 

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