In “Atlantic Coast Pipeline Builder set to seize property” (Nov. 17), it says “the Atlantic Coast Pipeline has undisputed legal authority to use private land for the project,” giving the impression that because eminent domain is being used this project is necessary for the public good. But is it?
The pipeline would be used to transport fracked gas, which has been proven to leak large amounts of methane during production, making it more disastrous for the climate than burning coal. Pipelines also leak. The Keystone pipeline just leaked 210,000 gallons of oil into the South Dakota landscape.
The landowners blocking this pipeline are not just protecting their own land. They are blocking the release of more climate-destabilizing, polluting fossil fuels into our air and water and soil. Duke Energy falsely claims more natural gas plants are needed along with the pipelines supplying them. The truth is much of our energy can now be provided by safe solar energy and battery storage. Pipelines are being built because the government guarantees a 16 percent rate of return on investment. They are moneymakers for the builders. There is an alternative plan for our energy future: NC Clean Path 2025. Look it up. We need to change course.
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Stabilizing electric prices?
In “Atlantic Coast Pipeline Builder set to seize property” (Nov. 17) about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, it says that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission had voted to approve the pipeline and quotes pipeline partners stating the project would “stabilize electric prices.” What was not mentioned in the article was that it was a divided vote and that representations made to gain FERC approval are easily shown to be very questionable.
Projections of the project being needed because of growing electric demand are belied by U.S. Energy Information Agency data that show electrical energy delivered by utilities to customers in North Carolina is declining despite an increase in the number of customers. It also shows declining revenue paid to utilities. The project, as proposed, only makes sense if the goal is to simply increase utility profitability by being able to charge customers for these new unnecessary assets.
Moreover, despite being described as “clean” the project will have serious environmental consequences from leakage of climate-busting methane and emissions of carbon dioxide that may well result in related utility liabilities and further ratepayer increases. “Stabilizing electric prices” with this project will mean unnecessarily raising the cost to ratepayers for decades and at considerable environmental cost.
Thanks for publishing “Atlantic Coast Pipeline is wrong path” (Nov. 19) explaining objections to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. I agree with the assessment that the gas pipeline is unnecessary, will contribute to climate change and could dampen investment in renewable technologies, which are so clearly needed at this point in our history – here in North Carolina as well as throughout the world. The very troubling problems with methane leakage and massive pipeline leaks signify that it’s time to move away from natural gas.
Laura M. Cotterman
ACP ‘land grab’
“Atlantic Coast Pipeline Builder set to seize property” (Nov. 17) begs the most important point in this small sad story of another undoubted land grab by a huge energy consortium against a few stalwart landowners. Eminent domain is supposed to be used to benefit the public. Here it is being used to increase our development of natural gas as a source of energy.
Increasing usage of natural gas is not in the public interest. Cornell University in 2015 brought evidence that gas is three times as bad as coal for our climate. There are now new super batteries made by Tesla that can store enough solar energy to power houses and businesses at cheaper rates than we currently pay.
It would mean some losses for the energy giants’ shareholders at first to invest in conversions to these, but in the long run it could mean increase in their profits and a less polluted and more stable climate for all Americans, and the rest of the world. Those poor landowners need to fire their lawyers, and we need to look more closely at the true meaning of eminent domain.
Look to future
I read in “Atlantic Coast Pipeline Builder set to seize property” (Nov. 17) that Duke Energy needs the new gas pipeline because they’ll need to build eight additional gas-powered power plants by 2032. Their course of action would continue to generate carbon dioxide at an even greater rate than today, further contributing to global warming.
In addition, the methane leaked from the pipeline and fracking operations would only exacerbate the problem. I would suggest that, instead of pouring more of ratepayers’ money into yesterday’s technology, they should look to building a system of energy generation for the 21st century. Instead of building more polluting gas-powered plants, they should look to implementing solar generation on a large scale. NC Warn, a local energy advocacy group, has developed a plan that could replace all of North Carolina’s usage of fossil fuels for electricity with solar and battery technology by 2030. Duke Energy should pursue this or some similar scheme and lead us into the 21st instead of anchoring us in the 20th.