“If we don’t get new pipeline infrastructure feeding into Hampton Roads, they’re not going to be able to grow economically. They’re not going to be able to attract new industries, particularly advanced manufacturing.”

Dominion Energy claims the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is urgently needed to accommodate growing demand for natural gas. Without it, the company warns Virginia’s economy will suffer. Pipeline opponents say that’s not the case.

For much of the 20th century, industry sounded a little different than it does today.  Walk in to a typical modern workplace and it’s often quiet enough to hear keyboards clicking – just one reason why demand for electricity in this country is down, according to Thomas Hadwin, a retired utility company executive.

“Our pumps, our equipment and appliances have gotten more efficient, and also we have all these new technologies – solar, wind and energy efficiency in buildings – all of those are reducing the need for electricity.”

And that, he says, has put large energy companies in a bind.

“The utility holding companies like Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, the Southern Company are finding that their utility subsidiaries are not growing in revenue, so they’re seeking other sources of revenues to keep their stock price up.”

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will allow Dominion to earn a profit of 15% on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline – whether it’s needed or not, so Hadwin says it’ll be great for shareholders.

That’s not what Dominion is saying.  Spokesman Aaron Ruby insists this is a project that will be good for its customers and essential for the economy.  Solar power isn’t reliable, he says, so we need gas to supply power on cloudy days and at night, and there isn’t sufficient capacity in existing pipelines.

“The pipeline infrastructure is stretched so thin in Hampton Roads that in recent winters Virginia Natural Gas has had to shut off service to more than 100 major industrial customers just to be able to have enough gas to keep people’s homes warm and keep hospitals running. So if we don’t get new pipeline infrastructure feeding into Hampton Roads, they’re not going to be able to grow economically.  They’re not going to be able to attract new industries, particularly advanced manufacturing.”

Hampton Roads aside, Thomas Hadwin says Dominion is mistaken when it claim s there’s no more room in the pipelines we already have.

Read More

Radio IQ, WTVF – Sandy Hausman – 08/02/2017

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