How a GOP-backed plan threatens the Atlantic Coast pipeline

E&E News discusses how a GOP-backed plan threatens the Atlantic Coast pipeline.

Virginia recently enacted a Republican-sponsored ratepayer protection measure that may spell trouble for the controversial Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline.

While the law didn’t attract as much attention as the state’s landmark Clean Economy Act — which targets 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050 — consumer and environmental activists say the provision, in tandem with the CEA, could throw up big obstacles for the proposed 600-mile-long gas line.

As an increasing number of states and territories pursue aggressive clean energy goals to curb the impacts of climate change, the Atlantic Coast pipeline’s uncertain fate highlights a larger national debate: Does investment in new natural gas infrastructure still make sense?

While fossil fuels continue to make up a significant portion of the country’s energy mix, renewables are quickly catching up (Climatewire, April 21). And advocates argue it may prove imprudent to sink billions into a project that transports a fuel the country is weaning itself off of, especially if ratepayers bear the brunt of the cost.

Championing the consumer protection language, H.B. 167, was Republican Del. Lee Ware of Powhatan. The bill was unanimously approved by both the Senate and the House of Delegates before Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam signed the measure into law early this month.

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