Atlantic Coast Pipeline

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.” 

Atlantic Coast pipeline proposed site
Steve Helber, File / AP

A proposed natural gas pipeline would disproportionately impact Native Americans in North Carolina, according to Ryan Emanuel, an associate professor at NC State University and a member of the Lumbee Tribe.

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

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline intended to carry natural gas across West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina would have some adverse environmental effects, including impacts on water resources, forest and other habitats, but most could be reduced to insignificant levels, an assessment by federal regulators found.

Public Herald / Flickr Creative Commons

  The proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline would span approximately 600 miles across three states. The pipeline is a joint project between Duke Energy, Dominion Energy, Piedmont Natural  Gas and Southern Company .


a map of a proposed natural gas pipeline
Courtesy of Dominion Power

Opponents of a proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline are planning protests in eastern North Carolina throughout the weekend.

Gasoline prices at the Carrboro Food Mart gas station in April 2013
Laura Candler

Gasoline and natural gas have hit record-low prices in the last few months. It was hailed as overwhelmingly good news for consumers and the economy.

But the price you pay at the pump may not be the real cost.

“So the real cost of that gallon of gas is the price you pay at the pump plus about four dollars,” says Drew Shindell, a professor of climate change at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

Shindell wrote a paper that calculates the “social cost” of energy, or the total cost to society.