The two energy companies behind the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline on Sunday abandoned their six-year bid to build it, saying that the project has become too costly and that the regulatory environment is too uncertain to justify further investment.
The natural gas pipeline would have traversed the Appalachian Trail on its way from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina. It drew national attention — and opposition — from environmentalists.
Virginia-based Dominion Energy and North Carolina-based Duke Energy spent years fighting regulatory battles that went all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled favorably for the companies last month.
But company officials said in a statement that other recent federal court rulings have heightened the litigation risk, extended the project’s timeline and further ballooned the cost of the project, which already had risen from an estimated $5 billion in 2014 to $8 billion.
“This announcement reflects the increasing legal uncertainty that overhangs large-scale energy and industrial infrastructure development in the United States,” Dominion chief executive Thomas Farrell and Duke Energy chief executive Lynn Good said in a joint statement. “Until these issues are resolved, the ability to satisfy the country’s energy needs will be significantly challenged.”